The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition has accused President Mnangagwa of planning a clampdown on the opposition MDC Alliance ahead of the elections due in two years’ time.
Crisis Coalition said this was shown by Mnangagwa’s recent description of MDC A as ‘a terrorist organisation’ and the government’s revival of the controversial National Youth Training Service programme – known as the Green Bombers – who unleashed violence against opposition supporters in previous elections.
It noted that the president last month also urged war veterans to again campaign for Zanu PF ahead of the elections. War veterans were also notorious for their violence. Crisis Coalition noted: ‘It is unfortunate that the ruling party has gone a gear up to threaten more violence, and this time, it is President Mnangagwa himself inciting Zanu PF supporters against the opposition’.
Mnangagwa’s attack on MDC A came in remarks at a meeting with war veterans in Harare, at which he described the opposition party as ‘pro violence’ and ‘anti people’. MDC A deputy spokesperson Clifford Hlatywayo says that, on the contrary, it was Mnangagwa who was responsible for untold suffering and terror. ‘He is preaching hatred to cover for his terror acts. What kind of leader does that?’ (See: https://www.thestandard.co.zw/2021/06/13/mdc-alliance-are-terrorists-ed/.)
The breakaway MDC T faction led by Douglas Mwonzora has been shaken by his unannounced meeting with Mnangagwa and Deputy President General Chiwenga at State House. Mwonzora did not take any party leaders with him and said the meeting was ‘merely setting the tone for dialogue’ ahead of the elections.
MDC T’s Vice President Thokozani Khupe apparently didn’t know about the meeting and the party’s national chairperson Morgen Komichi appeared unsure of what the meeting was about (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2021/06/ed-mwonzora-secret-meeting-divides-mdc-t/).
A ‘disgruntled MDC T insider’ is quoted in the Zimbabwean as suggesting that Mwonzora, having failed to get grass roots support across the country, was looking to Mnangagwa to include him in a ‘unity government’ (see: https://www.thezimbabwean.co/2021/06/zanu-pf-lacoste-zanu-pf-mwonzora-to-form-unity-government/).
It all looks like the scenario outlined by former Zanu PF minister Jonathan Moyo in his book Excelgate, which explained in detail how Zanu PF has honed election rigging machinery as part of what commentator Jethro William Mpofu described as ‘an evil and murderous, corrupt system’ (see: https://www.zimlive.com/2021/05/27/excelgate-the-anatomy-of-electoral-fraud-and-force-in-zimbabwe/).
- A survey by the research group Afro Barometer says two-thirds of Zimbabweans believe the country is going in the wrong direction. The survey says that if presidential elections were held at the moment 33% of respondents would vote for Zanu PF and 26% for MDC A. The others would not say who they would vote for (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2021/06/zim-going-in-wrong-direction/).
- The Independent says President Nyusi of Mozambique visited Zimbabwe earlier this month for talks with Mnangagwa on military assistance against the Islamist insurgency in its northern Cabo Delgado province. The insurgency is threatening a US$20 billion French investment in a liquified national gas project there and the Independent says Nyusi was asked by the French government to seek Mnangagwa’s help. Apparently France is offering technical and financial support. The Independent says France also suggested it would lobby for the removal of EU sanctions against Zimbabwe (see: https://www.theindependent.co.zw/2021/06/18/macron-seeks-zims-intervention-in-moz/).
· A reminder of the opportunity to remember 7-year-old Jesse Tafara Gwatidzo, who passed away last month. See: https://jessegwatidzo.muchloved.com/ and Notices below.
- Because of the coronavirus we can no longer physically meet outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London, so we have a virtual Vigil while the restrictions continue. We ask our activists to put on Vigil / ROHR / Zimbabwe regalia and take a photo of themselves holding an appropriate poster reflecting our protest against human rights abuses in Zimbabwe. The photos are uploaded on our Flickr site: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72157719429002663. Our virtual Vigil activists today were Grace Munyanyi and Jane Kaphuwa who both kindly contributed to Vigil funds.
- For Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.
· Jesse’s ‘Celebration of Life’ Ceremony. Friday 25th June at Beckenham Cemetery, Elmers End Road, Beckenham, Kent BR3 4TD. Funeral at 1.15 pm and Burial at 2 pm. For more details: https://jessegwatidzo.muchloved.com/. All are welcome.
- The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents us.
- The Vigil’s book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ is based on our weekly diaries. It records how events in Zimbabwe have unfolded as seen by the diaspora in the UK. It chronicles the economic disintegration, violence, growing oppression and political manoeuvring – and the tragic human cost involved. It is available at the Vigil. All proceeds go to the Vigil and our sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe’s work in Zimbabwe. The book is also available from Amazon.
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