ZANU PF youths yesterday threatened to violently crush the on-going anti-government protests aimed at forcing President Robert Mugabe to step down over his alleged misrule.
Source: Zanu PF youths declare war on opposition – NewsDay Zimbabwe August 29, 2016
BY REJOICE CHINGWARU/EVERSON MUSHAVA
Addressing journalists in the aftermath of last week’s skirmishes where police fought running battles with opposition parties’ supporters in Harare, Zanu PF national youth commissar Innocent Hamandishe said the ruling party was ready to take the opposition head-on — a development likely to stoke civil unrest.
“We have been fighting with MDC-T for a long time and they have now gone too far. We can no longer fold our arms and watch them demonstrate against our government and demolish our properties. We will fight side by side with the police to stop the protestors,” he said.
The threats came as the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) has issued a stern warning against police brutality and violence in general, saying people should be allowed to protest in a peaceful environment.
Harare provincial youth chairperson Edson Takataka declared war against the opposition if the protests continued.
“We declare war on all opposition parties who are protesting and we know they are doing this because they do not stand a chance in the 2018 elections. We cannot let these people drag the name of our party and country into the mud,” Takataka said.
The ruling party’s deputy secretary Kudzai Chipanga urged party members to be on high alert.
“Make sure you always have your phones because the fighting can start anytime. MDC people did not take part in the land reform programme in 2000, thinking it was a Zanu PF project and they are now admiring us because we have land.
If a party uses violence, it means are afraid of losing elections and they do not have support,” Chipanga said.
But MDC-T secretary for elections Murisi Zwizwai, dismissed the Zanu PF youths’ threats as “empty”.
“These are empty threats by a political party that does not respect the rule of law and constitutionalism,” Zwizwai, who is also deputy spokesperson of the National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera), a loose coalition of opposition parties campaigning for electoral reforms, said.
“The mere fact that Zanu PF and the State are too much agitated and provocative against the demo speaks to the narrative that we have been telling the whole world that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) is Zanu PF and the independence of Zec has been exposed in a very glaring way.”