By Tendai Chabvuta
On 31 December 2020, the overly populated ghetto neighborhood of Mbare played host to a New Year’s Eve bash that was said to have been organized by DJ Fantan and reportedly sponsored by some boy popularly known as “Dhama” in Mbare.
That the event was illegal and contravened the country’s Covid 19 regulations was in no doubt. That the arrest of the organizing crew by the police was justified was a no brainer as there was video evidence showing the bash in action. However, scores of local celebrities and politicians foolishly bemoaned the incarceration of the three people who were said to have organized the event.
Hordes of people country wide also protested the arrests arguing that there had been other Covid “super spreader” parties that had also been hosted especially by ZANU PF bigwigs and those closely connected to the state.
While it could have been true that justice had been selectively applied to DJ Fantan and his accomplices, the simpleton and nonsensical nature of the protests was mind boggling. It was almost as if people were saying that Covid is not a reality in Mbare and it could never affect them.
While many would want to see this issue as a simple one that is now water under the bridge, one is tempted to go deeper into the matter and discuss the problematic political and legal consequences of the arrest, the court process, release as well as the “celebratory” gatherings held after their release judging from the picture that emerged with the three posing with the controversial Mnangagwa twins Collins and Sean.
It was always going to be catch and release for anyone who is close to ZANU PF
When DJ Fantan and his partners were arrested, rumors started swelling that a mistake had been made and they would soon be released. When they were not released and were sent to court, the rumor mill was again awash with news that “the powers that be” in the military wanted them to be used as an example for those who were defying the Covid 19 regulations, so they would be soon released.
Judging from what then transpired and without wanting to question the judgements that led to their release, a obscene case of the infamous “catch and release” policy/strategy of the ruling government became apparent.
The prosecution of the case was farcical at the least and nonsensical at the worst. The case was a clear own goal by the arrested trio and what was needed was just to ensure that all the evidence was placed before the courts and argued strongly. But, what do we know?
What is clear is that ZANU PF and the government would never have been rattled by these three goons from Mbare or their supporters who kept calling for their release. However, ZANU PF and the government as opportunistic and duplicitous as they are saw an opportunity to appease the masses and harped along and hooray, the trio was released on bail when there was a clear case that could have seen the trio jailed for some time.
ZANU PF’s bastardized justice – when the right hand chooses to ignore what the left hand is doing
The ZANU PF led government went to the extent of putting up Covid 19 regulations and setting a whole country into panic mode but chose to ignore its bigwig party supporters who openly violated the same regulations on 31 December 2020.
One party the protesters kept mentioning was that of business mogul, Kuda Tagwirei which was held on the same day and was reportedly publicized but no one was arrested or questioned by the police.
Several videos emerged online on social media of the police bundling up scores of young people all over the country into police stations and having them pay fines for violating the Covid 19 regulations.
That the charade of justice was effected in the case of DJ Fantan and his accomplices is clear. For ZANU PF and the Government it would have been more than embarrassing to continue incarcerating the three when all the other COVID “SUPER SPREADERS” were out enjoying or nursing their Covid without questions.
In terms of policy coherence, it becomes very clear that ZANU PF and its Government is incoherent but in an organized manner. They put up laws and regulations for everyone else but then ensure that the same laws should not touch the “anointed” of ZANU PF or those close to the party.
Opportunism for ZANU PF protects drug dealers, spreads Covid and just reveals crass reckless in governance
Information that came out quickly on social media was that such bashes as the one organized on 31 December 2020 by DJ Fantan were used as drug peddling platforms in Mbare for a lot that had seen dwindling sales during the Covid shutdown.
Popular reggae chanter, Soul Jah revealed in a video posted online that the same people who support and organize such parties are the ones that produce, procure, and import the bronco, crystal meth and marijuana among other drugs that are being abused by young people in Zimbabwe.
Conveniently, these issues were never investigated. The people who were arrested were simply arrested for organizing an illegal gathering under the Covid 19 regulations. How the same police that was sent to shut down the party failed to arrest the people that were reportedly pushing drugs there remains baffling. However, it also known that for cases in Zimbabwe to become weak, those charged with investigations simply need to bastardize the charges and everything else will fall into place. Indeed, the trio were released on bail without any questions asked.
The ZANU PF Government has not investigated or revealed any information on potential cases of Covid that could have come from the party in Mbare. To them, that exercise is not necessary. What is important is for them to “keep up appearances” by “Catching and Releasing” those they think could boost their image with “THE PEOPLE”.
ZANU PF’s Lady Luck of Opportunism shined on them and this time it gave them DJ Fantan and two of his rogue accomplices. They released the trio and they think that they have “managed” the masses in Zimbabwe.
ZANU PF’s childish, drunken, and stoned political stunts breeding a LOST generation of young people
Someone close to ZANU PF observed the protestations from the people of Mbare and the public countrywide and thought that the trio should be released so that the “people” would be happy. One wonders where these same advisers get such kind of nonsensical advise.
ZANU PF has always lost in urban areas and where they have resoundingly won elections it has not been because of the same “ghetto youths”.
To a seasoned ZANU PF strategist, these three would not have mattered much. However, due to the fact that the “People” asked genuine questions about selective justice, ZANU PF felt it did not have an answer and thus decided to level the playing field and released DJ Fantan and crew.
- That the Mnangagwa twins were seen posing with the released trio was a major media and publicity boob – but who cares?
- That a whole police force has not yet investigated these three for possible drug peddling remains an issue for another day.
- That a whole Government, with a Ministry dedicated to Youth does not see the damage that such kinds of “youth role models” are not good for the future of Zimbabwe’s children is mind boggling.
- That Zimbabweans will be killed more by corruption and less by Covid 19 is clearly abundant for all to see.
- It is a shame that the “Zimbabwe is Open for Business” ZANU PF Government has its priorities set elsewhere and not with its people. Bastardizing the justice system to serve populist strategies that blindly support drug dealers, fuel corruption in the police force and leaves its huge population of boys and girls hooked to cough medicines and crystal meth is not the legacy that President Mnangagwa and his sons would want to be remembered for.