By Abhad Makumbi
THE Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) is planning to unleash 11 days of terror in Harare’s high density suburbs over the just-ended harmonised elections outcome, The Patriot can exclusively reveal.
Planning the terror on WhatsApp groups, ZINASU leaders and former leaders have called on all their members to denounce the election results, cause disturbances, inflict malicious damage to property and commit arson.
Part of the strategy is to take their fight to Harare’s high density suburbs as the Central Business District (CBD) demonstrations are proving futile.
The grouping, as we gathered, will be organised in a five-to-seven-man team in each high density suburb.
The covert operation is to call for ‘peaceful demonstrations’, motivate the crowds to join so that they present a ‘petition’ to have Nelson Chamisa recognised as the one who won the election.
Once they have the numbers, they then divert from the peaceful demonstrations and instead cause mayhem, malicious damage to property and commit arson.
The ultimate goal is to have Zimbabwe on the international community’s agenda and have the election results nullified.
Leaders fingered in the planning include ZINASU president Archbold Elias Madida, national co-ordinator Samuel Gwenzi, secretary-general Ashley Pfunye, programmes officer Gift Ostallos Siziba, MDC Alliance Youth Assembly national chairperson Happymore Chidziva, aka Cde Bvondo, Job Sikhala and the ‘Mupandawana boys’, among others.
Earlier this year, Pfunye threatened to unleash terror at universities and close university campuses this year to force a win for MDC Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa.
NGOs, such as Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC), are alleged to be backing ZINASU’s strategy as they hope the violent disturbances will resurrect their relevance for funding purposes.
Youths have been advised to provoke security agents, get beaten and arrested in order to claim to the international community that there is abuse of human rights in Zimbabwe.
“The strategy is not to accept the results,” reads a message from one of the strategists in one of their WhatsApp group platforms.
The student organisations’ spokesperson, Treasure Basopo, days before the elections, said:
“If reforms are not implemented, we cannot be hoodwinked into a sham, bogus and illegitimate process.
If we are convinced that the election is not procedural, we will declare Zimbabwe a failed and ungovernable state, we will declare this nation a war-zone and battle ground to restore constitutional legacy, for ZEC is proving to be defiant and arrogant, and is convinced not to want and implement existing laws.
We, however, encourage all students and youth to go and vote, but when the clarion call of defence has been raised, let’s all do so in the interests of nation building and self-cleansing from despotism.”
To those not in the know, it is crucial to note that ZINASU is merely implementing stage six of the ‘Milosevic Treatment’.
According to Stephen Gowans, a Canadian-based writer, the US developed a formula in the form of steps to be taken when executing regime change, later dubbed, the Milosevic Treatment.
The Milosevic Treatment
The programme the US Department of State prescribed to rid Zimbabwe of ZANU PF had been used successfully to oust Yugoslavia’s President Slobodan Milosevic in 2000.
The basis of the programme is to pressure the civilian population, through a programme of bombing, sanctions or military threat, galvanising the population to rise up against its Government and the proximal cause of its discomfort.
Because the Milosevic Treatment is typically deployed against the leaders of revolutionary societies, the opposition can be thought of as a counter-revolutionary vanguard. The vanguard has two components: A formal political opposition whose job it is to contest elections and cry foul when it doesn’t win as well as underground grassroots movement mandated to carry out extra-judicial agitation and to take to the streets in planned ‘spontaneous’ uprisings, using allegations of electoral fraud as a pretext for pursuing insurrectionary politics.
ZINASU is being used as an underground grassroots movement.
Integral to the Milosevic Treatment is accusing the Government of electoral fraud to justify a transition from electoral to insurrectionary politics.
The accusations build-up as the day of the vote approaches, until, by sheer repetition, they are accepted as a matter of indisputable truth.
If the opposition loses the election, the vote is confirmed to be illegitimate, as all the pre-election warnings predicted it would be, unleashing a torrent of people onto the streets to demand the Government step down.
This then becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy and reads like the MDC Alliance script in the past few weeks.
There has been serious attempts to implement the final stages of the Milosevic Treatment in Zimbabwe as cited below:
Stage 4: The opposition party, civil society and the local media, in advance, allege that the election will be rigged.
Stage 5: Before the election results are announced, the opposition and ‘independent’ election monitors announce an opposition victory.
Stage 6: If the official results are not in the opposition’s favour, denounce the vote as fraudulent and encourage people to take the battle into the streets.
Stage 7: In the West, public opinion is mobilised by the media, focusing exclusively on what the opposition and civil society say. The view of the governing party is completely shut out.
Currently, the Zimbabwean Milosevic Treatment is on Stage 6, encouraging people to take the battle into the streets.
This is not the first time violent demonstrations, through student bodies, are being organised.
Last year, at the Southern African Political Economy Series (SAPES) Trust conference, a plan to revive faltering student activism in the country, through pouring in hefty amounts of money to tertiary institution learners, was hatched.
According to the plan, endorsed by principal regime change donors, ‘brave’ students were identified and recruited mainly from two anti-Zimbabwe organisations, ZINASU and its subsidiary, the Student Solidarity Trust (SST), to take the Government of Zimbabwe ‘head on’ through massive demonstrations.
The students were promised US$500 each if detained and a staggering
US$5 000 if they stood trial.
This is not surprising.
ZINASU is a well-oiled regime change machine.
The US, by its own admission, formed ZINASU in 1986 and as is evident, the objective was to destabilise Zimbabwe.
It is therefore understandable why the US Department of State was so excited in its 2007 report on Zimbabwe about their ZINASU project to the extent of coming out of the closet claiming credit for the formation of the student body.
In a November 16 2007 letter accompanying the US Department of State Zimbabwe 2007 Performance Report, US Ambassador to Zimbabwe James McGee wrote that Washington was the undisputed leader in nurturing anti-Government civil society organisations in Zimbabwe, operating through a CIA-interlocked organisation led by former New York investment banker and Michael Milken right-hand man, Peter Ackerman.
According to the US Department of State: “Youth organisations like ZINASU and Youth Initiatives for Democracy in Zimbabwe (YIDEZ) are two good examples of… (civil society organisations that were) nurtured through US (State Department) funding from an idea to a level where they are able to stand on their own and attract other funders.”
In 2007, Washington gave Freedom House and PACT a total of US$1,8 million to back civil society organisations hostile to the ZANU PF Government, of which ZINASU was a beneficiary.
ZINASU is also funded by a Norwegian organisation NORAD.
A May 2015 report by Nordic Consulting Group titled Students Leading Change: Evaluating the SAIH Support for Zimbabwe and the Norway Campaign of 2009-2014 (Project number: QZA-12/0822-36) confirms funding of ZINASU to promote regime change in Zimbabwe.
In addition, ZINASU is also funded by the Norway-based International Student Festival in Trondheim (ISFiT).
After winning the 2003 Peace Award, ISFiT issued the following statement:
“ZINASU was founded in the late 1980s and is one of the key actors in the fight against President (former) Robert Mugabe’s oppressive regime.
Replacing his regime with a democratically elected Government is one of their major visions.”
In the 2002 presidential election, ZINASU mobilised students to participate as ‘election observers’ under the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN), a project funded by the US Government through the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).
On the eve of the July 31 2013 harmonised elections, ZINASU labelled ZANU PF ‘an enemy beyond conciliation’.
The capture of ZINASU
ZINASU is one of the groups that took part in the so-called Working People’s Convention (WPC) that gave birth to the MDC on September 11 1999.
ZINASU ceremonially became a wing of the MDC and this resulted in the ascendency of some student leaders like Learnmore Jongwe, Job Sikhala, Tafadzwa Musekiwa, Charlton Hwende and Nelson Chamisa, among others, into senior positions of the new party.
It meant MDC’s main wing dictated how the student body operated and engaged the establishment.
The US’ role in moulding and directing the operations of the student grouping is evident in the involvement of key regime agents like the late John Makumbe, Nigel Johnson and Reginald Matchaba-Hove, among others, as advisors.
ZINASU has also produced the likes of CiZC director Philani Zamchiya and Promise Mkwananzi, the spokesperson of the regime change outfit #Tajamuka/Sesijikile campaign.
Mkwananzi was the MDC-T Youth Assembly secretary before he was expelled for calling for the leader’s resignation in April 2014, according to his internet profile.
Other ZINASU civil society activists are Nixon Nyikadzino (National Constitutional Assembly and Crisis in Zimbabwe South Africa chapter), Philip Pasirayi (CiZC), Pedzisai Ruhanya (formerly with CiZC and now with Zimbabwe Democracy Institute), Gabriel Shumba (Zimbabwe Exiles Forum) and Mfundo Mlilo (executive director of the Combined Harare Residents Association, an amalgamation of residents’ associations in the capital city).
No doubt Americans formed ZINASU in order to effect regime change in Zimbabwe by any means necessary and it is still their mission to date despite the fact that there is now a new dispensation.
Zimbabweans, especially the security sector must take heed.