'If you inflame people enough, they'll believe you and they'll act accordingly'

Breakfast host Bongani Bingwa says what many had hoped would signal a new dawn in Zimbabwe has been dashed.

He says around the world, there was a new narrative about Zimbabwe, a country that had suffered for nearly 40 years under the iron grip of Robert Mugabe.

There is the view that he did well until 2000 when the disastrous land invasions but the people of Matabele will tell you the old man’s madness began long before.

Bongani Bingwa, Breakfast Show Host

READ: Zim really needs peace, stability and security - Lindiwe Zulu

They will remind you of the Gukurahundi, the series of massacres in that province in which by some estimates up to 20 000 dissidents real or imagined were killed, many in public execution and often forced to dig their own graves before being shot, in front of family members and fellow villagers.

Bongani Bingwa, Breakfast Show Host

Who was the minister of state security at the time? Mugabe’s most trusted enforcer, one Emmerson Mnangagwa who chillingly likened the opposition to cockroaches and bugs saying the government needed to bring DDT, a pesticide, to remove them.

Bongani Bingwa, Breakfast Show Host

He adds that on Wednesday as MDC Alliance supporters took to the streets to protest against what they are calling election fraud, whatever hopes Zimbabwe had for a peaceful election went up in smoke.

Three people have been confirmed dead and speculation puts that number at five. The military took to the streets of the capital and fired live ammunition into the crowd as the army turned its guns on the very people who greeted them with carnations in November last year when they deposed the despot, Mugabe.

Bongani Bingwa, Breakfast Show Host

Bingwa says on Wednesday it was civilians, ordinary people, who were the enemy.

He adds that Gukurahundi means the early rain that washes away the chaff.

Are we back there again? Is this how Mnangagwa will secure his rule? Of course, Zanu-PF will counter that and ask why the people were protesting before the results announcement was finalised?

Bongani Bingwa, Breakfast Show Host

There are dispute mechanisms to address any issues and those were agreed to by all parties at the start of the process - so why now? There are courts if those are not adequate? Why burn cars, throw stones and cause disorder?

Bongani Bingwa, Breakfast Show Host

You will remember Tendai Biti, one of the leaders of the opposition, telling us on Monday that nothing short of victory would do for the MDC Alliance or they would take to the streets?

Bongani Bingwa, Breakfast Show Host

Shades of Raila Odinga anyone? Didn’t he do the same in Kenya in 2008? Words matter. That’s the point. If you inflame people enough, they will believe you and they will act accordingly and lives will be lost.

Bongani Bingwa, Breakfast Show Host

He says in less than 48 hours Zimbabwe has gone from a country of brothers in arms to a polarised nation.

There was a veiled threat of a crackdown as officials said they will review the footage to see who the troublemakers were.

Bongani Bingwa, Breakfast Show Host

This is only the beginning.

Bongani Bingwa, Breakfast Show Host

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