Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko yesterday blasted “spineless” opposition party leaders for covertly abusing youths to commit criminal acts under the cover of street protests.
His remarks follow last week’s orgy of violence in Harare unleashed by opposition parties under the banner, National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera). The opposition parties’ thugs also stoned police officers and deflated a police vehicle.
Vice President Mphoko said the youths who are being used by craven opposition parties to commit acts of criminality were mainly targeting the ordinary citizenry.
“At times people do unimaginable things under the cover of so-called peaceful demonstrations. People who are mostly being attacked by these rowdy youths during these violent protests are ordinary men and women selling tomatoes in the streets,” he said.
The Vice President questioned the rationale behind shop lootings and acts of violence, yet the organisers of the demonstrations claimed the protests were peaceful.
Political leaders behind the violent protests, he said, were cowards who had clearly run out of political survival ideas.
“What is that? Is it politics? In fact, that is daylight robbery and theft and whoever is leading these protests should re-examine himself or herself because this is laughable. You cannot call that politics, and I believe a politician should be a politician. A real politician deals with real political issues not criminal issues to survive in politics,” the Vice President said.
According to weekend media reports, the opposition MDC-T began plotting to destabilise the country last month and had members of its youth wing trained in paramilitary tactics and urban violence outside the country.
Information gathered suggests senior MDC-T figures began plotting when shadowy elements, going by the hashtags “tajamuka and thisflag” sparked civil disturbances in Harare, Bulawayo and Beitbridge, threatening to make the opposition party a sideshow.
President Mugabe, on Friday last week, blasted the country’s detractors sponsoring opposition parties to unleash violence on peace-loving Zimbabweans, and warned that the Government will not tolerate the “stupidly” organised protests.
The President called on Zimbabweans to remain calm and united against anti-democratic forces bent on reversing the economic fortunes of the country.
President Mugabe also warned the embattled MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai against trying to unseat a constitutionally elected Government through violence. chronicle