A CHOPPIES Supermarket security guard was hospitalised yesterday after sustaining serious injuries at the hands of rowdy MDC-T supporters who ran amok downtown in the wake of an address by party leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai calling for the unconstitutional removal of President Mugabe from power.
The marauding opposition supporters also disrupted traffic and harassed Harare City Council workers confiscating their tools and splashing cement on several buildings prompting police to warn the MDC-T leaders that they would not be allowed to infringe on the rights of innocent citizens.
Chief police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba, said the MDC-T supporters caused chaos in the city and attacked and seriously injured a security guard at Choppies Supermarket near the intersection of Cameroon Street and Robert Mugabe Road.
“They blocked traffic for about an hour and also disturbed some Harare City Council officials who were conducting their work along the road before they attacked the security guard. The security guard has since been taken to a local hospital for treatment.”
She said the police respected the rule of law as evidenced by their compliance with the High Court ruling on Wednesday that the demonstration must go ahead.
She said police were, however, mandated by Section 219 of the Constitution to protect life and property, maintain law and order, protect internal security of the country, prevent crime, as well as to detect and investigate crime.
She said the rowdy behaviour exhibited by some supporters was the reason why sometimes they were reluctant to clear such gatherings.
Snr Asst Comm Charamba denied reports that police raided the MDC-T headquarters-Harvest House adding that no arrests were made during the demonstrations
Several vendors are reported to have lost their wares to the marauding youths.
Political analysts blasted the MDC-T and its leader, Mr Morgan Tsvangirai, for advocating mutiny in the country by calling for President Mugabe’s removal despite winning a five-year mandate from the electorate in the 2013 harmonised elections which President Mugabe won overwhelmingly.
In his address, Mr Tsvangirai churned out his usual mantra that President Mugabe must go with immediate effect.
“We are here to tell (President) Mugabe that he has failed the country and that he must resign,” said Mr Tsvangirai.
“We are demanding a dignified exit for (President) Mugabe. As MDC we are demanding that please (President) Mugabe go and have an early retirement.”
He said similar demonstrations would be carried out in all the country’s provinces.
Zanu-PF spokesperson, Cde Simon Khaya Moyo, said Zanu-PF would not lose sleep over the MDC-T demonstration and other demands.
Said Cde Khaya Moyo: “President Mugabe was elected by the people of Zimbabwe and if they are now saying he must go then I wonder where? President Mugabe was elected to that position by the people and if they still need him they will vote for him again.
“If they (MDC-T) want him to go then they should campaign and go for elections and win and that’s the democratic way of changing the Government. In 2013 observers from all over the world were here and witnessed the elections, which were free and fair.
“Zanu-PF is not responsible for the weather, it’s an El Nino factor. Money which should be for development is now importing food because we don’t want our people to die of hunger. When we say our people we mean the entire nation including the MDC-T,” he said.
“The MDC-T invited sanctions and now they are pretending to be saviours of the same people. Our people are so intelligent and will not be fooled.”
Political analyst, Professor Sheunesu Mpepereki, said the MDC-T exposed how shallow and immature the party was by marching against an elected President.
“Tsvangirai is just looking for relevance. How can he march against a President who won overwhelmingly in 2013? It shows how childish and unsuitable he is to be a national leader.
“The MDC-T has run out of ideas and just want to be seen to be doing something. They do not have the mandate to remove the President,” he said.
Prof Mpepereki said while Zimbabwe was democratic to allow the opposition freedom to demonstrate, the MDC was taking the opportunity to expose its immaturity and dismissed the march as kindergarten play.
Dr Pedzisai Ruhanya of the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute said it was important for the MDC-T to be guided by the Constitution instead of disregarding the rule of law.
“Zimbabwe is supposed to be a Constitutional democracy so any changes in Government must be Constitutional and our democracy is via elections,” he said.
“Elections are the vehicle for our democratic practices so any changes in the political leadership as to go through electoral democratic test in respect of the supremacy of the rule of law.
“The problems that the country could be facing are not individual problems. It’s not a Mugabe problem, but national problems. The nation is beyond an individual.
“Any problems in the State must be looked at using those analytic lenses of the political economy of the State that is the relationship between agents, institutions and structures.
“We want to minimalise the problem of the State to one individual. If you say the President must go does it means if he goes the problems would also go?”
Christian College of Southern Africa principal director, Mr Tichaona Zinhumwe, said the MDC-T was expressing their democratic right especially by marching for the creation of jobs.
He said the party was, however, wrong on saying the President should go as he was elected to be in office.
Mr Zinhumwe said the MDC-T was refusing to participate in by elections so they could have a voice and also speak on behalf of the people.
“The MDC-T is wrong for demanding that the President resigns. They do not want to participate in elections an indication of immaturity and lack of appreciation of the democratic process. herald