Kubatana.net ~ an online community of Zimbabwean activists

Abuse of power

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Having a tooth taken out at 8am on a Monday isn’t the best way to start the working week but having suffered a Sunday of throbbing toothache I thought I’d better Do Something. So a strapping Serbian called Dr Paul put paid to my molar, finally managing to extract it after about an hour or so of pushing and pulling.

As I lay there trying to Dig Deep and deal with the pain my mind wandered to a DVD I’d watched the night before called A Patriotic Force. This is a newly released documentary commissioned by the Solidarity Peace Trust in South Africa. The documentary chronicles the behaviour of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) over the last decade or so. It includes frightening scenes illustrating the abuse of police power in Zimbabwe with some survivors discussing the brutal treatment that they have endured at the hands of our police force. So when I saw Zimbabweans being beaten with batons, or swathed in bloody bandages from their run-ins with the ZRP whilst exercising their democratic right to engage in peaceful protest, I lay in the dentist’s chair thinking that my pain probably palled in comparison.

At Kubatana we’ve been sending out copies of A Patriotic Force to Zimbabweans from all walks of life, all over the country in an awareness raising exercise. If you would like to receive a copy why not write to the Solidarity Peace Trust.

But hang on a sec. Just thinking of the title of this DVD you wouldn’t be the odd one out if the title confused you. In fact a few of the titles of documentaries on the Zimbabwean situation produced by the Solidarity Peace Trust confuse me. Why not just use plain simple titles that tell it like it is. The ZRP is anything but a patriotic force; instead they obey their one master – Mugabe.

Other strange titles include No War in Zimbabwe and a Legitimate Election. At first glance with titles like these you’d think things were hunky dory in Zimbabwe. Instead they’re anything but.

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