Thursday 27 September 2018

State Sponsored Terror - The Zimbabwe Case for classification of the ruling elite as terrorists

Governmental or "State" terror: Sometimes referred to as "terror from above", where a government terrorises its own population to control or repress them. Let's apply these issue to the regime in Zimbabwe since 1980.

Bayonets used on Civilians 1st August 2018 by the Military
These 'State Terrorist' actions usually constitute the acknowledged policy of the government, and make use of official institutions and other key propaganda outlets such as the:
  • Judiciary, 
  • Police, 
  • Military, 
  • Reserve Bank
  • The Media [TV, Radio and Newspapers.]
  • and other government agencies such as the Paracitals state institutions that are a source of looting for the elite.
Changes to legal codes permit or encourage torture, killing, or property destruction in pursuit of government policy. In Zimbabwe's case the ruling regime has not signed up to the Convention Against Torture - nor the issue of Enforced Disappearance, thus allowing free reign to intimidate opposition.

"Zimbabwe has not yet ratified three core international human rights treaties namely the Convention against Torture,  and  other  Cruel,  Inhuman  or  Degrading  Treatment  or  Punishment  (CAT),  The  International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their  Families  (CMW)  and  the  International  Convention  for  the Protection  of  all  Persons  from Enforced  Disappearance  (CED)"
 Statement of UN Resident Coordinator in Zimbabwe

 Many of the Statutes in Zimbabwe are not aligned to the 2013 Constitution - making the application of "the Law" difficult to justify and certainly open to partisan interpretation.

After assuming power, official Nazi policy was aimed at the deliberate destruction of "state enemies" and the resulting intimidation of the rest of the population. Stalin's "purges" of the 1930s are examples of using the machinery of the state to terrorise a population. Now contrast these actions with the Gukurahundi Genocide - a clear policy of the purge of 'opposition' "dissidents" in Mugabe's own words.

The methods Stalin used included such actions as rigged show trials of opponents, punishing family or friends of suspected enemies of the regime, and extra-legal use of police or military force against the population. Again Mugabe's purges repeat these tactics, as do the violence, intimidation and rigging that accompanies the elections

Saddam Hussein used chemical weapons on his own Kurdish population without any particular change or expansion of policies regarding the use of force on his own citizens. They were simply used in an act of governmental terror believed to be expedient in accomplishing his goals.

State involvement in terror: These are activities where government personnel carry out operations using terror tactics. These activities may be directed against other nations' interests**, its own population, or private groups or individuals viewed as dangerous to the state. In many cases, these activities are terrorism under official sanction, although such authorisation is rarely acknowledged openly.

**The case in point is Mnangagwa's direct involvement along with the Zimbabwean Army in the Plunder of  DR Congo.

"Item 27: The key strategist for the Zimbabwean branch of the elite network is the Speaker of the Parliament and former National Security Minister, Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa. Mr. Mnangagwa has won strong support from senior military and intelligence officers for an aggressive policy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. His key ally is a Commander of ZDF and Executive Chairman of COSLEG, General Vitalis Musunga Gava Zvinavashe. The General and his family have been involved in diamond trading and supply contracts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. A long-time ally of President Mugabe, Air Marshal Perence Shiri, has been involved in military procurement and organizing air support for the pro-Kinshasa armed groups fighting in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. He is also part of the inner circle of ZDF diamond traders who have turned Harare into a significant illicit diamond-trading centre."

Item 28: "Other prominent Zimbabwean members of the network include Brigadier General Sibusiso Busi Moyo, who is Director General of COSLEG. Brigadier Moyo advised both Tremalt and Oryx Natural Resources, which represented covert Zimbabwean military financial interests in negotiations with State mining companies of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Air Commodore Mike Tichafa Karakadzai is Deputy Secretary of COSLEG, directing policy and procurement. He played a key role in arranging the Tremalt cobalt and copper deal. Colonel Simpson Sikhulile Nyathi is Director of defence policy for COSLEG. The Minister of Defence and former Security Minister, Sidney Sekeramayi, coordinates with the military leadership and is a shareholder in COSLEG. The Panel has a copy of a letter from Mr. Sekeramayi thanking the Chief Executive of Oryx Natural Resources, Thamer Bin Said Ahmed Al-Shanfari, for his material and moral support during the parliamentary elections of 2000. Such contributions violate Zimbabwean law."

Historical examples include the Soviet and Iranian assassination campaigns against dissidents who had fled abroad, and Libyan and North Korean intelligence operatives downing airliners on international flights.

Another type of these activities is "death squads" or "war veterans": unofficial actions taken by officials or functionaries of a regime (such as members of police or intelligence organisations) against their own population to repress or intimidate. While these officials will not claim such activities, and disguise their participation, it is often made clear that they are acting for the state.

Keeping such activities "unofficial" permits the authorities deniability and avoids the necessity of changing legal and judicial processes to justify oppression. This is different than "pro-state" terror, which is conducted by groups or persons with no official standing and without official encouragement.
1st August 2018 Bullets and Bayonets used

While pro-state terror may result in positive outcomes for the authorities, their employment of criminal methods and lack of official standing can result in disavowal and punishment of the terrorists, depending on the morality of the regime in question.

So what is the difficulty in ascribing the 'label' "Terrorist State" to Zimbabwe? They seem to tick all the boxes, have systematically intimidated, abducted, murdered, and raped their citizens. The Army has been used for political purposes and for the personal gain of their elite ranks. The elite political group have benefited financially in their $billions - so how can Zimbabwe be considered a democracy?

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