Do demonstrations lead to an anarchy

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By Loice Dube

“Our government…teaches its people by example. If the government becomes the law breaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto themselves; it invites anarchy.”
According to Louis D. Brandeis known as the greatest critic of all time says,” it is the government that creates an anarchy not the people”.
In the past weeks, the country was looking forward to what was being “labelled” harmonised elections, and the mainstream media has been publishing threats that anarchy was not going to be tolerated in Zimbabwe.One wonder why all these threats were issued  given that demonstrations are enshrined in the Supreme law. The Constitution guarantees under section 59 that every individual has a right to demonstrate and present their grievances accordingly.
For years people have been afraid to voice their ideas and opinions as protests were met with unbridled resentment deemed as the cause of chaos and instability in the country.
In April 2018 nurses protested for good working conditions but they were all fired for airing their grievances. The  government of the day went on to threaten all those who would embark on such industrial actions including teachers.
According to Merriam Webster one of her definitions says, ” an anarchy simply means absence or denial of any authority or established order”.
President of Zanu PF Emerson Mnangagwa recently said,” elements bent on inciting violence were not going to be tolerated in any way”.
One wonders who actually causes anarchy, then the 1st August 2018 situation in Harare Central Business District (CBD) was an eye opener.
Political analysts have interrogated on who deployed the army to kill unarmed civilians. Section 213 of the Constitution states that “only the President, as Commander-in-Chief”, has power to authorise the deployment of the Defence Forces, and that, with his authority, they may be deployed within Zimbabwe “in support of the Police Service in the maintenance of public order”.

The incumbent President responded by saying,” I will be setting up a commission of enquiry to look to investigate the matter”. Indeed ,“The voice of God is the voice of people”, but the atrocities that saw the loss of life are regrettable. May their soul rest in peace.
In 1976 the former president Robert Mugabe once said, “the people’s votes must go together with the guns. After all, any vote we shall have must be a product of the gun…the people’s votes and the gun are inseparable twins”This is the case with what happened in Harare CBD. The people’s votes have been accompanied by guns. Freedom of expression has become history. Cry our beloved Zimbabwe.
In November 2017, the whole world applauded Zimbabwe for demonstrating against Mugabe without bloodshed because the army was working peacefully with the citizens. This therefore shows that demonstrations can be carried out peacefully without anarchy.
Let people demonstrate peacefully without the army interfering. We are heading nowhere as long as the gun speaks.
Its high time the government starts addressing the issues that affect the citizens amicably without using force, if not then anarchy will be inevitable.

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