So much for the joke.
In Zimbabwe (Rhodesia) today, only one political force has the means to dole out the rewards necessary to get the thugs out in numbers; the ZANU-PF party of Robert Mugabe (and cronies). On Monday, at the opening session of what is to be the national conference to draw up an new Constitution, the goon squad was out in force. Quoting from the article cited:
Our Harare correspondent Simon Muchemwa said police stood by as the rent-a-crowd that ZANU PF used to disrupt the meeting pelted delegates, including cabinet ministers, with plastic bottles of water and shouted abuse.Sad doesn't begin to convey the real meaning of this.
The MDC councillor for ward 6 in Bindura Rural, and Mashonaland Central province organizing secretary Gilson Chitakunye, sustained serious head injuries after he was brutally assaulted by the thugs. Chitakunye was detained in a private clinic in Harare.
An attempt was made to proceed with the meeting as scheduled but it was disrupted and eventually abandoned, as a result of mob action. Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga told us they were determined to resume with proceedings, saying 'it would be sad if we give in to this thuggery'
A failure to rewrite the Constitution will guarantee that the Unity Government (also called the Global Political Agreement; GPA) is a tool to keep the ZANU-PF in power.
If they can force an end to popular contribution to the new Constitution, and instead dragoon through the Kariba Draft, which ensures the Robert Mugabe could stay President for at least another 10 years, then the kleptocrats have won.
Resisting the rent-a-mob violence is going to require sacrifices.
Liberty is worth such sacrifices.