Sunday, February 17, 2019

Editorial Comment: Anarchists Must Be Afraid, Very Afraid
18 FEB, 2019 - 00:02

It is clear that the MDC-Alliance and its partners have chosen a very dangerous path of violence in an effort to win power which has eluded them in democratic ways in the last 20 years.

Of course, the opposition party has tried to use violence in the past as a means to effect regime change, but we notice a renewed vigour to use the same method to make the country ungovernable.

This renewed effort by the Western-funded opposition party is meant to achieve what it failed to do through the democratic process of elections. President Mnangagwa on Saturday revealed that Government is aware of the bid by MDC-Alliance and its allies to relaunch violent demonstrations in the near future.

He was addressing a bumper crowd at a “Meet the People” rally at Rutenga. The Constitution provides for peaceful demonstrations; which President Mnangagwa’s Government has guaranteed as part of opening up the democratic space.

But we note that the MDC-Alliance has failed to embrace this gesture by President Mnangagwa, instead choosing the destructive path of violent demonstrations.

A point which the perpetrators of violence seem to overlook is that this abominable act does not pay, especially when it is clear that the purpose is to remove the Government.

No Government in any part of the world can watch while people torch police stations and target armouries in search of weapons, as witnessed in the violent demonstrations of mid-January.

This is because there is nothing to gain in torching shops and Government installations and looting, except to cause civil disobedience and negate the rule of law.

Once we reach such levels, then Government knows it is no longer dealing with an ordinary demonstrator who has a genuine grievance.

In such cases, the State always reacts accordingly to protect the integrity of the country and other citizens who become victims of lawlessness.

This is a fact which should sink into the minds of MDC-Alliance leaders and their allies.

It is naïve for them to think they can take violence to the Government and expect to be treated with kid gloves.

We have realised that organisers of the violent demonstrations are always happy and smiling all the way to the bank on the back of statistics, most of them false, about deaths and injuries.

They are living large from the pay cheques they receive from their handlers for fomenting such violence.

It has become obvious that the MDC-Alliance and its partners do not have the welfare of Zimbabweans at heart because they are selfish and want to use people to achieve their narrow interests.

Those who are persuaded to go on a rampage during the violent demonstrations are always left on their own to deal with their predicament. They are abandoned before they are disowned.

We urge Zimbabweans to reject being used by such unruly characters, and we hope that people have learnt their lessons ftrom past demonstrations that such efforts are always in vain.

Organisers of the violent demonstrations never participate because they are fully aware of the consequences. This is why in future we hope that apart from dealing with the street hoodlums, the authorities will also make the organisers accountable for their deeds.

Our advice to those who intend to participate in future violent demonstrations is that they should be well aware that apart from facing the wrath of the law, they can be left with permanent scars, both physically and mentally.

Violence is bad, that is why no society can tolerate it. We cannot let our beloved country get trapped in a cycle of violence.

The President’s stern warning to merchants of violence is well placed. Violence cannot be tolerated further.

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