Zanu PF youths abandon ED victory celebrations  

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

THE Zanu PF youth league has abandoned its plans to celebrate the second anniversary of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s victory in the 2018 elections amid fears the event will be hijacked by protesters today, the Daily News reports.

This comes as the ruling party youths had planned to celebrate the July 31, 2018 electoral victory by putting on their party regalia on the same day the opposition, civic society groups and activists are demonstrating against Mnangagwa’s government, which they accuse of corruption as well as failing to turn around the country’s economic fortunes.
But yesterday, the acting deputy national secretary for youth affairs Tendai Chirau made a U-turn during a media conference at the Zanu PF headquarters on Thursday saying they had discarded their initial plans after learning of “plans by some individuals to commit unlawful acts on the day while wearing Zanu PF regalia”.
“It has come to the attention of our ever-vigilant Zanu PF youth league security department that the merchants of anarchy and terror have hatched a sinister false flag operation wherein they plan on wearing Zanu PF regalia during their planned demonic spree of looting and destruction, disguised as a demonstration, on July 31, 2020.
 “The evil plot is only meant to hoodwink unsuspecting citizens and demonise the name of the revolutionary party Zanu PF by creating a false image of some Zanu PF members participating in their heinous design, for the benefit of their handlers.
“We resoundingly condemn this cowardly plot and wish to remind all our enemies — domestic and foreign — that Zimbabwe has no vacancy at the State House outside the due constitutional and democratic processes,” Chirau said.
Earlier, Mnangagwa had described organisers of tomorrow’s planned mass demonstrations as terrorists, warning that the country’s security forces were ready to “appropriately” deal with them.
This comes as the organisers of the protests, including opposition political parties and activists, have vowed to go ahead with their mass actions with or without the green light from jittery authorities amid accusations by Zanu PF that they intend to topple Mnangagwa’s government.
Mnangagwa’s threats and the organisers’ response have set the stage for potentially bloody clashes between the protesters and often trigger-happy security forces.
In his opening remarks to a Zanu PF politburo meeting on Wednesday, Mnangagwa said the indaba was being held against to allow the ruling party to chart the way forward “against a backdrop of the threat to our democracy, constitutionalism, and rule of law, independence and nationhood from terrorists masquerading as opposition parties and activists”.
In August 2018 and January 2019, several people were shot and killed by security forces during demonstrations over the delayed release of election results and steep fuel price hikes respectively.
The government blamed the opposition and pro-democracy groups at the time for fomenting the violence, which brought back into sharp focus Harare’s respect for constitutional freedoms and human rights.

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