How to use people

President Robert Mugabe meets with a South African delegation, the army chief and members of the Zimbabwean government.News24
President Robert Mugabe meets with a South African delegation, the army chief and members of the Zimbabwean government.News24

In Zimbabwe, as in Zambia, protesting against the government, for whatever reason, is not permissible. The police have been used on numerous occasions to repress protestors. The powers in Zimbabwe have deemed it necessary to use the same tool of oppression (military/police) to gain access to the power of the masses. What we are witnessing in Zimbabwe is that the military is leveraging the power of the masses to compel Mugabe to surrender the instruments of power. This implies that governments respect the power of the people, not fire power. The armed forces understand that peaceful demonstrators are mightier than the gun.

What is surprising is that politicians have unconstrained inclination to suppress this most powerful agent when it doesn’t suit them. For instance, when some Zambian politicians connived to cheat the people of Zambia out of $42 million meant for saving lives of millions of citizens whom private healthcare is out of reach, protestors who represented the mood of the masses were repressed by the same men and women who have sworn to serve and protect all Zambians including protestors.

What will be the attitude of the military in post-Mugabe Zimbabwe? Will they capitulate and betray the civilians on whose power they have accessed to remove Mugabe from power when it was convenient for them? In other words, will they revert to oppressing the masses until they see it fit to use the people again?

The Zambian Military

The Zambian military has seen the power it possesses. Make no mistake, we the people of Zambia are not asking you to take over our civilian government no matter how corrupt. We are, however, asking you to use your influence to compel Mr. Lungu to allow citizens to register their anger, to protest, whenever people in his administration steal public money. The unfolding events in Zimbabwe are sending a message to all governments around the world: Act forthrightly with your people; you may just need people power at some point, with or without the best trained and equipped soldiers.

By Rodger Chali


  1. CHOLERA IN LUSAKA, SHAMEFUL!!! In HARARE where you say the economy was not working there is no cholera. Why??? IFIKO ba Zambia…Shanty townships all over the city.

  2. Great analysis, right on point. No need to add anything. There’s need for the Army to step in when a Country is in crisis. After all they are trained to create law and order. It’s best for them to step in to avert a situation that can go completely wrong. They have to be proactive and sense danger before it happens and prevent rioting and loss of life. Zimbabwean military has shown the world how they can be involved and strategically diffuse a national crisis before it erupts. Our sleeping ineffective uniformed civilians should learn from their counterparts.

  3. Keep the military out of your politics. Zambia is peaceful today because our men in uniform are disciplined and know that the military machine is for self-defense not oppression. Look at countries where the military has been compromised? The Zimbabwe saga is not unique, we had a similar issue when Guys Scott and Lungu wrestled the instruments of power from each other. The difference is that our generals stayed away. In fact it’s our police force which is slowly becoming partisan. One of these days our corrupt policemen will end up being locked up by the army chaps. Basop!

  4. The Zimbabwean army is partisan.
    They were simply supporting Mnagagwa since he is ZANU- PF. Seriously the Zimbabwean people still got a raw deal. This coup was masterminded by Mnagagwa and the Generals who share the same freedom fighter pedigree. Nothing democratic there. Same party in power.

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