Saturday, 1 October 2016

MUJURU : WE WILL FIGHT ON

A seething Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) leader, Joice Mujuru, roundly savaged President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF yesterday, following last weekend’s orgy of violence by seemingly deranged ruling party youths who left for dead four of her officials in Guruve, Mashonaland Central.

Speaking to the Daily News after the former vice president visited the injured officials at Harare’s Avenues Clinic — who included retired senior military official and former diplomat Aggripah Mutambara — she described the growing barbaric attacks on her party followers as “satanic and demonic”.

“Those youths in Zanu PF actually need to be rescued from what they are doing. We cannot have a leader (Mugabe) who comes from the United Nations where they talk about democracy yet his party is beating up people. That is satanic and demonic.

“It is sad that people are paid to beat up people by the ruling party. It is very sad. We are being led by people who do not know what they are doing. Why burn cars? Why the violence?” a visibly angry Mujuru said.

“As Zimbabwe People First, we are always against violence. It is sad that in this day and age we are still witnessing land grabs and this kind of anarchy. There is no party that owns land in Zimbabwe. We all have a right to land. The government is there to serve the people,” she added.

Her anger followed last weekend’s ugly scenes in Guruve in which axe and knobkerrie-wielding Zanu PF mobs invaded Dunaverty farm — where three ZPF officials are running agricultural operations — before launching gruesome attacks on their hapless victims and leaving them requiring urgent hospitalisation.

The deadly attacks led to many Zimbabweans expressing the fear that Mugabe and Zanu PF were increasingly using terror to silence dissenters ahead of the eagerly-anticipated 2018 national elections.

It was later revealed that the marauding mobs wanted to chase away Obert Mutasa, Cyril Mureya and Temba Ncube from the farm — all of whom are prominent supporters of Mujuru’s fledgling party.

And as if to rub salt into the injured ZPF officials’ wounds, Mutambara — who had driven to the farm on Sunday to try and rescue his comrades before he too was mercilessly set upon — was bizarrely arrested by police together with the other bludgeoned trio despite nursing bad wounds and having been on the receiving end of the savage attacks by the manic Zanu PF supporters.

But Mujuru told the Daily News yesterday that the horrific scenes at Dunaverty Farm had “emboldened” her party to do more in its quest to bring an end to Mugabe and Zanu PF’s rule.

“We are not deterred by the attacks. We cannot step back when people are suffering like this. If anything, this has actually strengthened us. We cannot be deterred by people who are fighting for a 92-year-old,” she thundered.

In a later statement responding to Mugabe’s spokesperson George Charamba, who tried to blame the injured ZPF officials for having caused the violence in Guruve, ZPF said this exposed the nonagenarian’s hand in the bloody skirmishes.

“It is clear now, after Charamba’s rants, that the violence was planned from the highest Zanu PF office, which is the party presidency, because if it wasn’t so Charamba would not have been keen on putting the stage-managing spin that he threw around with amateurish exuberance.

“We now know, courtesy of Charamba, that violence can be stage-managed and it’s now clear that Charamba is in the loop on how Zanu PF and his boss Mugabe have been stage-managing violence and blaming it on opposition political party activists,” the party said.
Meanwhile, there are growing fears that the panicking Zanu PF has started unleashing its terror machinery to remain in power ahead of the country’s watershed 2018 national elections.

This follows the worrying resurgence of violence across the country in recent weeks, including a savage crackdown on the opposition and pro-democracy activists by authorities, as civil unrest continues to escalate in tandem with Zimbabwe’s dying economy.

On Tuesday, suspicious riots rocked Harare, as police fought running battles with supposed protesting street vendors in the capital’s central business district — amid stunning claims that the troublemakers in fact belonged to factions within the warring Zanu PF.

A local civic organisation which documents cases of violence in the country, the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP), said Zanu PF and the police were the “top perpetrators” of violence in the month of August.

According to the report, Zanu PF party came tops in perpetrating violence during the month, accounting for 42 percent of all reported cases, while the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) were second with 34 percent, followed by the Zimbabwe National Army with 8,3 percent.

“In August, State-sponsored perpetration of violence remained relatively high . . . August has recorded a sharp increase in the total number of victims who stood at 1 401 as compared to July’s 647 and June’s 356.

“It is sad to note that citizens’ freedom to demonstrate and petition is still at risk as police continue to brutalise those who exercise this freedom,” ZPP said.

Mugabe, the only leader Zimbabweans have known since the country gained its independence from Britain in April 1980, is battling to save his long political career as citizen unrest escalates over the ever-deteriorating quality of life locally, which they blame squarely on his misrule.

But the increasingly frail nonagenarian has not taken lightly to the challenge to his power, unleashing the country’s security apparatus on the restive populace with devastating consequences — amid fears that the government may effect a State of Emergency to foil further protests.

Two weeks ago, police and soldiers ran amok in many of Harare’s high density suburbs where they indiscriminately beat up nightclub revellers, before they also ordered the early closure of shops in Chitungwiza.

Authorities also savaged and arrested scores of pro-democracy activists and opposition members coalescing under the banner of the National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera), who were holding nationwide protests to press for much-needed electoral reforms ahead of the eagerly-anticipated 2018 national elections.

This was despite the fact that demonstrations outside central Harare had not been included in the current police ban on mass action of any kind. daily news

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