RULE 1: DOG DOESN’T EAT DOG – by Magari Mandebvu, with permission

After last week, I may need to emphasise that I am not interested in punishing anybody, however great their crimes. Punishment is far too close to revenge and revenge is reserved for God. Nobody else can balance the demands of justice and revenge. If the person punished cannot see the punishment is just, he will in return seek revenge, which goes on in a never-ending cycle.
On the other hand, we cannit expect others to forgive our offences against them if we don’t make some kind of reparation. We can never undo all the damage we have done, but if someone tries sincerely they can be forgiven. If we are ever to restore peace, we must convince those who have persecuted us that seeking forgiveness, even this late, is better continuing on the destructive path they have been following.
For example, local leaders of ZANU’s violent campaigns don’t have much of a future to look forward to if they stay on the track they have followed so far.
If the top leaders plan another election as violent and bloody as the last one (which God forbid) they surely have a “Plan B” for the very likely event that they don’t succeed in holding power that way. They are surely ready, in that case, to seek foreign refuge where they have stashed most of their illgotten money, diamonds and gold. That’s OK for the biggest fish, but I doubt whether anyone below the top ranks in the ZANU war machine has a luxury retirement home waiting for him on a beach in Malaysia or even Equatorial Guinea. Plan B means leaving them to face the music. If they are lucky, that will mean a trial before the International Criminal Court and spending the rest of their lives in a more comfortable prison than we can provide under present circumstances here in Zimbabwe.
But in the unlikely event that our military-security complex can stage a successful coup (everyone below the rank of army general or police superintendent would have to be crazy to play along with that), a successful Plan A doesn’t spell much joy for the local commanders whom we have all seen in action.
A military regime would have a difficult job getting any government in the world to recognise them. Remember Julius Malema is not the government of South Africa and Comrade King Kim 3rd of North Korea has enough problems of his own, even if he didn’t have embarassing allies who would make his life more difficult. No, our guys would need to clean up their act a bit. To be accepted as respectable people to do business with, they have to produce a few scapegoats to carry all the blame for the nastiness we’ve had to suffer, and sacrifice them. The international business community, the big bankers and their military friends, are a bunch of hypocrites, so they won’t ask any awkward questions about why General Y, the butcher of Matebeleland and Minister X, hero of Murambavanhu, aren’t among the scapegoats. There is, after all, a certain solidarity among the thieves who run this world. Their first rule is “Dog doesn’t eat dog” and they don’t need to sniff very closely to recognise that our comrades-turned-billionaires are dogs of the same breed as themselves, dogs with rougher manners and less scruples about getting blood on their hands maybe, but still dogs and not to be eaten. Jim Kunaka and his opposite number in Mudzi, on the other hand, are only scapegoats.
Those expendable scapegoats will be very lucky if they get as far as the comfortable cells of the International Criminal Court. They know too much, and they aren’t real goats, which can’t talk. Unfortunately human scapegoats can be very talkative. My guess is that we would see a few scapegoats chosen and then conveniently “shot while resisting arrest” because dead men tell no dangerous tales.
Isn’t it better to jump ship now than to wait till they throw you to the sharks?
Published in The Zimbabwean, 22 November 2012

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