‘Protesters seek to spread Covid-19’

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Mugove Tafirenyika
SENIOR STAFF WRITER
tafirenyikam@dailynews.co.zw


ZANU PF yesterday accused organisers of the planned July 31 protest of seeking to pull President Emmerson Mnangagwa down by ensuring that the country is overwhelmed by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, the Daily News reports.
This comes as the country’s confirmed Covid-19 cases have been rising. As of Tuesday, the country had 1 820 cases, including 26 deaths.
It also comes as organisers  of the anticipated protests, called by the opposition as well as civil society groups, said they would go ahead with the demonstrations against corruption and economic decay.
But addressing journalists at the Zanu PF headquarters in Harare yesterday, party spokesperson Patrick Chinamasa blamed some foreign embassies of aiding the protests.
“Zanu PF is also alive to the fact that some of these detractors, through their embassies, had already started to incite their stooges in the ‘evil’ society to engage in a demonstration and violate the already existing regulations so that our cases could become unbearable. As Zanu PF, we speak with a bold no. We will not stand and fold our hands watching while hostile people organise to put our people at risk. No,” Chinamasa said.
This comes as Mnangagwa on Tuesday banned the movement of people between 6pm and 6am with effect from yesterday as he tightened the Covid-19 lockdown measures as the government battles to combat the rising coronavirus deaths and infections in the country.
However, the move did not go down well with opposition parties which suggested that the measures betrayed Mnangagwa’s paranoia, alleging that the Zanu PF leader is abusing lockdown measures to crack down on dissent.
Chinamasa described the assertion as nonsensical, accusing the opposition of praying that the country’s streets would have dead bodies strewn all over with authorities failing to handle the deadly pandemic.
“We implore Zimbabweans from being deliberately misled by merchants of propaganda, fake news peddlers and sworn enemies of the State who have suddenly gone into an overdrive to misinform our people by insinuating that we have a military curfew. We do not have a military curfew, but a lockdown curfew on top of other measures the president has declared. Those who violate the regulations will have only themselves to blame.
“We challenge Zimbabweans to read and discern before they quickly take the fake social media news as fact,” said Chinamsa.
Authorities have since arrested one of the organisers of the mooted demonstration, Jacob Ngarivhume, who is also leader of the opposition Transform Zimbabwe party as well as harassing other  activists, including former Zanu PF youth leader, Godfrey Tsenengamu.

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