AS POLITICAL tensions continue to rise in the country, amid growing restlessness among long-suffering Zimbabweans, authorities yesterday warned the opposition that they would crush all unsanctioned mass protests, the Daily News reports.
This comes after two senior MDC Alliance officials — Tendai Biti and Job “Wiwa” Sikhala — warned at the weekend about impending civil unrest and rolling mass demonstrations in the country, in the light of Zimbabwe’s deteriorating political and economic climate.
Speaking to the Daily News yesterday, an uncompromising Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe said the government would not put up with “anarchy” in the country, and would deploy the full might of the law if the opposition “crossed the line”.
He added that what was required at this point was for the opposition to complement the government’s efforts to contain the lethal coronavirus — which has so far infected nearly 300 people in the country.
“The law is very clear, and anyone who breaks it will face the music. We will not tolerate anarchy in the country.
“One wonders what the motive of causing chaos in the country is when we are all supposed to be fighting Covid-19.
“The entire world is fighting this invisible enemy called Covid-19 at the moment, and the government is equally seized with that,” Kazembe told the Daily News.
“The law enforcement agents will deal with any rogue elements who may be dreaming of causing lawlessness in the country.
“We kindly urge our peace-loving people to continue observing the lockdown guidelines as we escalate the fight against the pandemic,” he added.
This comes as political tensions continue to rise in the country, over Zimbabwe’s deteriorating political and economic climate, which has stirred restlessness among ordinary citizens.
The recent dramatic crash of the beleaguered Zim dollar — which was prematurely and ill-advisedly brought back by under-fire Finance minister Mthuli Ncube last year — has added to the country’s woes, sparking shocking hikes in the prices of basic consumer goods and services.
And with Zimbabwe’s official inflation now nearing a staggering 800 percent, this is raising growing fears among desperate citizens that the economy is once again headed towards the horror 2008 hyper-inflationary era — which left the majority of people impoverished, in addition to decimating many companies.
At the weekend, MDC Alliance vice president Biti warned that the country was facing civil unrest and imminent implosion if a political solution was not found to lance Zimbabwe’s myriad crises.
Firebrand Zengeza West legislator Sikhala also warned that the MDC Alliance would mobilise people to protest the country’s worsening economic rot and the government’s alleged schemes to “dismember” the opposition.
“The level of agitation among the people now has never been witnessed before in the history of this country … they are just waiting for leadership to end the game.
“Our people have not surrendered to fate about their destiny. They are waiting for the call and the call is not very far. It is imminent.
“This time, they (the planned protests) won’t be coming in instalments. They will be incessant,” Sikhala told the Daily News.
“If you are in opposition, the elephant in the room is Emmerson Mnangagwa and his thieving regime. Let’s remain focused. I have heard your cries and appeals. Watch this space. The time is now.
“Fighting oppression is no kindergarten task. It needs conviction to the cause and selfless commitment. It is the same to the servants of God. You can only be a prophet through calling.
“Bringing happiness to all citizens through fighting oppression needs calling not opportunism.
“If you are not in it for opportunism, arrests and other vicissitudes associated with demolishing oppression should be anticipated,” Sikhala added.
“The Robert Mugabes of the time suffered years of incarceration fighting an unjust system. We have learnt from those who did it in the past.
“The Joshua Nkomos did it for the people. We are also prepared to do it for the people. Generations to come will enjoy the fruits of the blood of the martyrs of today.
“No one is afraid of prison as it is the den for the genuine and committed. Prisons don’t break the spirit of the selfless leadership. No one is afraid of that,” Sikhala further told the Daily News.
This comes as interim MDC leader Thokozani Khupe and Nelson Chamisa have been involved in a fierce tussle for the control of the country’s largest opposition party — a war that began ever since it’s much-loved founding father, Morgan Tsvangirai, died from colon cancer in February 2018.
The fights took a turn for the worse after the Supreme Court upheld an earlier High Court ruling in March, which had nullified Chamisa’s hotly-disputed ascendancy to the helm of the MDC following Tsvangirai’s death.
The ugly factional wars went a notch up last Thursday after Khupe seized the party’s iconic national headquarters, the Morgan Richard Tsvangirai House — allegedly with the assistance of security forces.
On Friday, MDC Alliance vice presidents Biti and Lynette Karenyi-Kore, as well as other senior party officials were arrested when they tried to enter the building.
Sikhala said all the “goings-on “in the MDC were allegedly being fuelled by Mnangagwa and Zanu PF, to weaken the MDC and Chamisa ahead of the fast-approaching 2023 polls.
Last month, the lawyer-cum-politician also threatened to embark on demos following the recall of four MDC legislators from Parliament.
He also claimed that there was a “perverse and insidious attempt” by Zanu PF and its proxies to “dismember the MDC Alliance by executing a coup” against its elected leadership “under the guise of implementing the equally insidious” judgment of the Supreme Court which allegedly sought to “foist Zanu PF proxies” as leaders of the main opposition.