An orgy of violence being orchestrated by MDC-T and anti-government organisations is the opposition elements’ grand plan to create scenes ahead of major summits, Zanu-PF and political analysts said yesterday.
Major summits on the cards include the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI) which begins in Nairobi, Kenya tomorrow and the 36th Sadc Heads of States and Government Summit slated for Swaziland next Tuesday.The United Nations General Assembly will also be held in New York next month.
This comes as opposition parties under the National Electoral Reform Agenda (NERA), yesterday said they would defy a police ban on their planned demonstration today.
Police advised the parties, including Mr Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T and Dr Joice Mujuru’s Zimbabwe People First to send representatives to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and present their petition on the alleged electoral reforms.
The police position follows massive looting of supermarkets and violence by MDC-T youths on Wednesday that left property worth thousands of dollars destroyed and two vehicles burnt.
Zanu-PF secretary for Administration Cde Ignatius Chombo, yesterday said just like in the past, the “aerobatics” by the opposition parties would come to naught.
“It has become their game plan year in year out that when we are faced with major events they create scenes,” he said.
“There are three important meetings coming up and they think with their actions, Zimbabwe can be put on the agenda. No amount of grandstanding and stunts will succeed. In any case, Sadc leaders now know the behaviour of these parties as some of them like the MDC-T have made these antics their yearly bread.”
Harare lawyer Mr Terrence Hussein said violence was destructive and should never be tolerated in a democracy.
“Orchestrating riots, destruction of property and looting is unacceptable,” he said.
“Those doing this need to understand that Zimbabwe is a democracy not a protestocracy. Political power is won or lost in an election. Any other way of trying to get power is unlawful and unconstitutional and those trying to by-pass elections must stand ready to face the full weight of constitutional institutions such as courts and uniformed services.”
Another legal expert Mr Tendai Toto said: “Peaceful assembly for picketing and demonstrating is a rightfully guaranteed freedom in terms of the supreme law of the land (Constitution) provided that the exercise and enjoyment of the aforesaid freedoms do not infringe on the rights of others.
“The destruction of private and public-owned property are negative factors that impact on the very cause and motivation of the exercise of the fore stated freedoms. The property rights of the owners and custodians of the infrastructure that is destroyed are violated thus rendering the demonstrations questionable.”
Zimbabwe National Liberation War Collaborators (ZILIWACO) chairperson Cde Pupurai Togarepi, described the violence by the opposition parties as “barbaric and misguided.”
“This has always been the attitude of these irresponsible opposition establishments,” he said.
“They always find ways to blackmail Zimbabwe whenever we have international events coming. That should inform us that these creatures were never founded for us. They front foreign interests.”
He went on: “They demand that Government delivers jobs yet they loot the business which are supposed to create those jobs. These elements must be warned to stop pursuing this retrogressive path. The leadership of President Mugabe as mandated by his resounding election victory in 2013 cannot be questioned by a few malcontents.”
Meanwhile, the opposition parties yesterday said police would not stop them from going ahead with their demonstration today.
Addressing journalists in Harare, Zimbabwe People First representative Mr Didymus Mutasa and Mr Tsvangirai said they had informed the police, but did not get a favourable response.
Officer Commanding Harare Central District, Chief Superintendent Newbert Saunyama said the prevailing situation did not warrant a demonstration.
“This office is discouraging the issue of marching in the Central Business District considering the number of participants that is 150 000 to be involved in your street demonstration. The crowd cannot be accommodated in the CBD as it interrupts the smooth flow of both human and vehicular traffic,” he said. herald