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Rape a Girl, Glorify ZANU PF – and All Shall be Added unto You Son of the Soil!

It’s election season. The strangest of moves from politicians especially ZANU PF will be the order of the day till 23 August.

On 6 August, it was reported on social media that Bobby Makaza, an ex-rape convict had been promised a house by Deputy Sports Minister Tinomudaishe Machakaire. Additionally, Makaza was allegedly given US$700 to get him a new stab at life. (Machakaire meanwhile issued a statement denying this).

Makaza was sentenced to 16 years in prison by a Murewa magistrate in 2019 after raping a 10-year-old girl a year earlier.

He was released under a Presidential Pardon after serving only three years of his sentence.

After all the outcries and a petition to the High Court by lawyers standing for the parents of the then 10-year-old girl who was raped, ZANU PF continues to seemingly rub salt in the wounds of those aggrieved – first by the unlawful pardon and then the pampering of the ex-convict.

Why is ZANU PF doing this?

President Emmerson Mnangagwa (ED) pardoned this rapist and many others. His supporters argue that he has the power to pardon and can use it the way he wants. There was a backlash but the move could not be reversed.

It is not as if ED or his handlers do not know that what he did was not received well. Any reversal of this amnesty could portray ED as a weakling so they trudge and ignore the cries from the public.

Now for Deputy Sports Minister Tinomudaishe Machakaire, he is campaigning and must show loyalty to his boss (Mr Huchi) at any cost. So here, he has made a bold move if it is true, he has promised the rapist a house and given him 700 USD – almost 4 months’ salary for an ordinary civil servant.

The Leader is always right and must be supported.

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The Deputy Minister is showing loyalty to his boss at two levels. (i) He must show that he supports Murambwi’s policy action to pardon the rapist.

In any case who would dare oppose the President and then (ii) he is feigning naivety and will defend his move as CORRECTIONAL CLEMENCY.

Murambwi pardoned the rapist, The Deputy Minister is correcting and resuscitating a destitute man who after being shown love could probably be reformed. To the simpleton this makes sense. To the reformer who advocates for correctional and prisoners reform this could be applauded.

The Deputy Minister has made a clever move that certainly appeals to the weak minded and politically naïve generality of the populace.

How does ZANU PF benefit from all this?

The message here is that ZANU IS A CARING PARTY – and that message appeals to a target and prime audience, in this case, the Vapostori. It also appeals to so many old and young men in the rural areas who are having sexual intercourse with underage girls.

One just needs to look at the numbers of Vapostori groups that support ED or do so through regalia, posters etc. under the #Vapostori4ED mantra. This is a huge constituency and vote base for ED and ZANU PF.

Anyway, ZANU PF is party that makes patriarchal laws for its old rich leaders.

ZANU PF has in the past and now made laws for big old pot-bellied rich man who form the bulk of their leadership and are in the habit of sleeping with minors.

It is a “culture” that is pervasive and condoned through impunity by way of negotiations with the girls’ families. ZANU PF is not about to send the wrong signals to its client and leadership base.

No one must ever be fooled into thinking or believing that ZANU PF will make laws that will make anyone outside their support or leadership base happy.

Government policy is what a government chooses to do or not to do, so they say. ZANU PF is showing Zimbabweans that what matters most to them is votes at any cost.

Someone will have to whisper into the President’s ears that he has a legacy to build and a name to keep as the leader of the so called Second Revolution. Jumping around arrogantly with ex-convicts and rapists will just not cut it. “That’s NOt IT!

You can follow Tendai Chabvuta on his blog here