By Dr Nkululeko Sibanda
It is with profound sadness that all the reports that are now coming through to us, NGOs, churches, the courts, among other areas suggest that President Emmerson Mnangagwa and General Constantino Chiwenga carefully coordinated an attack on Zimbabwe in the last 3 days.
They organised 3 distinct groups under 3 different commanders who reported directly to General Chiwenga. Their actions were contrary to the oaths that are taken under the Constitution of Zimbabwe and are serious breaches of international law.
There was a group for looting and public violence (meant to discredit public demonstrations), one for extreme and countrywide repression (using degrading treatment such as beatings, rape, grave bodily harm) and one for killing Zimbabweans (shooting civilians to show that the government is prepared to kill).
Credible reports show that the state carefully organised ZANU PF youths, who would infiltrate the mass stayaways and loot a few shops for their personal benefit. These were not paid and were told that the loot would be their salary.
Secondly, the Genocidal former Fifth Brigade military personnel of the Gukurahundi fame were deployed in uniform to residential areas whereupon they would use North Korean repression tactics. This large group was deployed nationally and was supplied with heavy drugs.
In and around the areas of demonstrations automatic gun wielding Presidential Guards were deployed, un-uniformed to do the killings, while avoiding identification as soldiers. This means victims would not know a killer was around until there are hit.
These tactics are not allowed even in active war zones. This group was sober and is more closely linked to Mnangagwa than Chiwenga. This has been the worst weekend in the history of Zimbabwe, but what is encouraging is that, after all this effort Zimbabweans report that they are not intimidated by these shameful acts by Mnangagwa and Chiwenga.
SADC must intervene and investigate these serious circumstances in which grave crimes against humanity were committed. Mnangagwa and General Chiwenga are adversely affecting the image of the region and bring SADC into disrepute over and over again.
Dr Nkululeko Sibanda is the Presidential Spokesman for MDC leader Nelson Chamisa