BY SHARON BUWERIMWE/LORRAINE MUROMO
CIVIC society organisations (CSOs) and opposition parties yesterday said they were not moved by Zanu PF threats to slap them with local sanctions for criticising the ruling party and government.
Zanu PF youth deputy secretary Tendai Chirau on Wednesday said the party was considering local sanctions policy against its opponents.
Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) vice-president Tendai Biti said the opposition party would continue speaking out against injustices and misgovernance.
“Zanu PF is not the sheriff of this country; they can’t take the law into their own hands. We will defend ourselves as we have always defended ourselves,” Biti said.
“This thing about sanctions is ridiculous, we know the sanctions in Zimbabwe and that is Zanu PF. We know those who stole our diamonds, those who steal our United States dollars at the auction floor and those who are stealing millions of dollars through corrupt deals, so we will not be fooled or intimidated by anyone.”
Crisis Coalition in Zimbabwe spokesperson Obert Masaraure said the envisaged sanctions policy would infringe on people’s democratic rights.
“The moment they try to use scare tactics, they push away people more. Instead we advise them to embrace the new reality of democratic contestation of ideas. Let them impress us with their governance culture,” Masaraure said.
“They should not threaten us because we won’t be moved by these threats, we are well aware of our rights, duties and responsibilities. We need a functional democracy.”
Vendors Initiative for Social Economic Transformation Trust executive director Samuel Wadzai added: “Politicians must allow CSOs and NGOs to do their work without undue interference. The Zanu PF youth league is majoring in minors. We expect them to be uniting the youth against corruption and the high levels of inequality in our country.”
Residents Associations Coalition for Electoral Reforms spokesperson Marvelous Khumalo said the threats were misplaced in a democratic society.
“Such threats are neither good for our limping democracy nor for an atmosphere that is conducive for free and fair elections. Any democratic political party, movement or government representing the people or citizens of a given country must be open to criticism. That is democracy,” Khumalo said.
“Zimbabwe is a multi-party democracy, so no political party is immune to criticism.”