Source: We’re not terrorists, rages MDC-T party – NewZimbabwe 29/08/2016
THE opposition MDC-T has hit out a State media reports describing party as a “terrorist organisation” and rejected allegations it was training its youth wing in para-military tactics and urban violence.
The government-owned Sunday Mail this week claimed that the MDC-T “started planning civil disobedience and sent youths for training in certain African countries (names supplied).
“These groups were deployed last week to unleash unprecedented violence in Harare’s central business district”.
But the opposition party said “such utterances by a confused Zanu PF are extremely disturbing, grossly offensive and patently untrue”.
The party demanded that the “Zanu PF-controlled media immediately desist from peddling lies and falsehoods that are wickedly meant to portray the MDC-T as a violent, terrorist organisation”.
In a statement released Monday, the MDC-T said, “As the fourth estate, the media should, at all times, report facts and desist from fabricating malicious, false and defamatory stories against President Morgan Tsvangirai in particular and other opposition political leaders in general.
“The people of Zimbabwe are watching and one of these fine days, all these evil men and women who are violating and thrashing the people’s constitutional rights shall be brought to book. That’s for sure!
Party spokesman Obert Gutu added: “The fact of the matter is that the MDC-T is not training any terror squads allegedly to destabilize Zimbabwe.
“For the record, the MDC-T is a lawful and peace-loving social democratic political party that was formed in September, 1999.
“If anything, it is the opposition party, over the years that has been the victim of relentless and sustained State-sponsored violence, thuggery and banditry.”
President Robert Mugabe last week warned his rival about recent protests in the country, and declared that there would be no “Arab Spring in Zimbabwe”. He was referring to a series of uprisings that toppled leaders across the Arab world.
Responding to Mugabe’s remarks, Gutu said: “We totally agree with him.
“It is not the intention of the MDC-T and its leader, President Morgan Tsvangirai, to violently and unconstitutionally overthrow the Zanu PF regime.”
He added: “Of late, it is the Zanu PF regime itself that has been unleashing wanton violence and brutal physical force on peaceful demonstrators.
“On Wednesday, August 25, 2016, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) embarked on an orgy of violence in downtown Harare; beating up and vandalising innocent and peaceful demonstrators who had been embarking on a lawful march led by the MDC Youth Assembly.”
The MDC-T has also claimed that “some Zanu PF thugs and Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) agents” set alight two vehicles belonging to the ZRP and the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) during last week’s protests in the capital.
“These Zanu PF thugs also looted several city shops, including Choppies supermarket that is partly owned by Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko,” said Gutu.
The MDC-T and 17 other opposition parties under the National Electoral Reform Agenda (NERA) platform, last Friday tried to stage a peaceful demonstration in Harare and being cleared by the High Court but police used tear gas, baton charges and water cannons to disperse the protestors.
“Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri and Home Affairs Minister, Ignatius Chombo, should be held personally responsible for the mayhem and barbarism that was caused by the police in Harare last Friday,” said Gutu.