via MDC-T says now ready for the violent Zanu PF – New Zimbabwe 16/05/2015
THE MDC-T says it now has a strategy to deal with Zanu PF violence which traditionally intensifies each time the country approaches regular elections.
The scourge of violence by Zanu PF supporters under tacit approval by top party officials has refused to die with former party MP for Hurungwe West Temba Mliswa and his supporters being the latest victims.
This, observers have warned, is the clearest sign that Zanu PF is not yet ready to give up on violence which opponents have argued was its indispensable strategy towards winning elections.
The country’s main opposition is adamant it has routinely been denied clear electoral victories through violence on party structures by the arch-rival’s militant supporters assisted by the state.
The party says an alleged 300 of its followers were killed in an orgy of violence during the period campaign period for the 2008 presidential run-off.
Asked if his party has found a strategy to counter a recurrence of the violence ahead of the next elections in 2018, MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu gave an emphatic yes.
“We definitely have a solution but it would be full hardy for me to disclose matters of strategy,” Gutu said, adding, “But I want your readers to appreciate that this time around Zanu PF will not have its cake and eat it. We will definitely send them packing.”
However, during the 2013 campaign period, top MDC politicians, among them Theresa Makone, who was both party women’s assembly secretary and cabinet minister, openly urged supporters to retaliate when attacked by the enemy.
“If you are beaten up, hit back. We do not want people who just take it lying down. Look today there are very few women here-many have stayed home because they are afraid of what happened here last week when there was violence,” she said then.
However, Gutu said violence was in the nature of Zanu PF, adding that his party’s repeated claims of Zanu PF victimisation had been confirmed by the current victimisation of Mliswa.
“Zanu PF can never win a free and fair election and as fate would have it, even Temba Mliswa of all people is now coming out publicly saying had he known this is the nature of Zanu PF, maybe he would never have joined the party in the first place,” Gutu said.
“We are saying what better illustration of the Zanu PF DNA of violence can one get that surpasses Mliswa’s experience in Mash West province?
“This is vintage Zanu PF. There will never ever tolerate any alternative political voice to their voice. Whenever they feel that they are losing support, they immediately resort to what they know best and that is physical violence, psychological violence, emotional violence.”