Sunday, February 17, 2019

Gloves Off for Merchants of Violence
18 FEB, 2019 - 00:02 
Tendai Mugabe in RUTENGA
Zimbabwe Herald

President Mnangagwa has warned MDC-Alliance merchants of violence who are planning to stage a second round of illegal and violent demonstrations, meant to destabilise the country, that Government will deal decisively with them.

The President said Zimbabwe was a peaceful country and Government would not brook any mischievous acts bent on causing anarchy.

President Mnangagwa’s remarks came in the wake of threats by MDC-Alliance leader Mr Nelson Chamisa that he was planning to call for another “demonstration” in Harare ostensibly to force  dialogue with President Mnangagwa.

Ironically, Mr Chamisa spurned an invitation extended to him by President Mnangagwa to join other opposition party leaders in a dailogue meeting he convened two weeks ago.

Addressing thousands of Zanu-PF supporters attending the third leg of his “Meet the People” rallies at Rutenga Business Centre in Mwenezi on Saturday, President Mnangagwa said the violent activities by MDC-Alliance were in sync with their campaign message last year that they would make the country ungovernable if they lost the elections.

“Iko zvino vari kurongazve kuti vaite mhirizhonga,” said President Mnangagwa.

“Aihwa, ndiri kuudza vanhu vose munyika yose zvayo kuti vasingade runyararo moita izvozvo, moenda kumhirizhonga. Asi vanoda runyararo garai kudzimba dzenyu titarisane nevanenge vachida mhirizhonga tigovagadzirisa. We want to thank you Masvingo province for not taking part in the national violent shutdown. Makati kwete, kwete isu kuno kuMasvingo tinoda rugare, kuMasvingo tinoda budiriro.”

President Mnangagwa continued: “There was violence in January which was organised by MDC-Alliance for a long time with the support of non-governmental organisations. We are compiling evidence on those NGOs that were involved in that violence – destroying property in the country especially in Harare and Bulawayo. The violent protestors looted businesses and were blocking roads with stones and logs.

“They burnt police vehicles and killed police officers on duty. This was in fulfilment of what they were saying during their campaign for the harmonised elections that we held last year. As Zanu-PF, we were saying we want free, fair and transparent elections, we were saying we want peace, non-violent campaign. We want to thank the people of Zimbabwe that we managed to have peaceful campaigns throughout,” he said.

“MDC-Alliance, on the other hand, was saying we should win the contest at all costs and if we fail to win tinoda kukanda jecha musadza. This is what they meant – the violence that we are seeing now ndiko kukanda jecha musadza. Now, is there anyone here who wants the country to have violence? As Zanu-PF we will continue to preach peace and unity. This is the only way we can develop our country.

“ In Harare and Bulawayo these violent protesters were blocking people from going to work and burning buses and police stations. Where ever have you seen that? We said no, we don’t want violence. We deployed the military to restore law and order and now we have peace in the country.”

President Mnangagwa said the country’s erstwhile enemies were not resting and were still keen to reverse the land reform programme.

He said they were now sponsoring some local opposition functionaries to foment anarchy in the country.

During last month’s MDC-Alliance-instigated protests, one police officer was killed while 78 others were injured countrywide.

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