via Arrest Tsvangirai: Zanu PF – DailyNews Live by Lloyd Mbiba 1 APRIL 2014
President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF has called for the arrest of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, saying he wants to incite a rebellion against their leader.
Zanu PF was reacting to remarks made by Tsvangirai at a rally in Zhombe on Saturday, where the former prime minister said the country, whose economy is on a downward spiral, cannot be held captive by one man.
Rugare Gumbo, Zanu PF spokesperson, said Tsvangirai should be arrested for inciting mass action.
“He made subversive statements and the law must take its course,” Gumbo told the Daily News. “I am sure the police are aware of this and they will bring him to book. We cannot allow anarchy in the country. Anyone who makes subversive statements should be punished.”
The tough-talking Zanu PF spokesperson said Tsvangirai’s call for mass action was dangerous.
“He must be living in his own world,” Gumbo said. “The same people whom he wants to protest against Mugabe are the same people who voted overwhelmingly for him. So what makes him think that they are ready to join him in his ill-fated mission? Tsvangirai should stop daydreaming.”
Mugabe, who has been leader of Zimbabwe since 1980 was declared victor for his seventh term as president of Zimbabwe on August 3, amid allegations by the MDC of vote fraud. Tensions in the country were already high due to a troubled 2008 vote.
Charity Charamba, the police spokesperson, could not immediately comment on the matter as she was locked up in meetings, while the army spokesperson Overson Mugwisi referred questions to the police.
Tsvangirai said the country, whose economy is on a downward spiral, cannot be held captive by one man.
“We know that people are facing problems but Mugabe does not care,” Tsvangirai said as he pointed to company closures and subsequent employment losses.
“We will soon be mobilising Zimbabweans to take action. Zimbabweans cannot be held hostage by one man.”
The MDC leader said since Mugabe was the author of the current problems — that have worsened since last year’s general elections — he must be dragged to the negotiating table.
“We are now a basket case. Mugabe must be brought to the negotiating table, not by the MDC but rather by the masses of Zimbabwe,” he said.
Eldred Masunungure, a University of Zimbabwe political analyst, warned that Tsvangirai’s mass action strategy will fail.
“That is a very blunt instrument,” Masunungure told the Daily News. “There is no appetite from Zimbabweans for such. It’s a futile exercise. In fact it’s absolutely worthless. These demonstrations will not take the MDC and Zimbabwe anywhere.
“Demonstrations have been ineffective since 2003 and it is for this reason that ZCTU (Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions) abandoned the stayaways. People simply don’t respond to such calls.
“The final push didn’t fly. It was a flop. So Tsvangirai’s call is but a wish and nothing more. Zimbabweans are concerned about the politics of the belly and they are not ready to go into the streets and demonstrate.
“So for me, the mass action is a blocked route. It will not take anyone anywhere. More so, it comes so soon after the elections and I don’t think Mugabe is bothered by such threats.”
Masunungure said Tsvangirai should instead be concentrating on healing fissures in his party.
“What Tsvangirai needs to do is to first heal the party because there is a civil war in the MDC,” he said. “He needs to talk to the rebels and try to find common ground. From then on, he can appeal to the other side (Zanu PF) for engagement on national issues.
“For now, it is futile to be trying to extinguish fire at your neighbour’s house while your own house is on fire. You must look inside before you look outside.”