WE are alarmed by reports that the opposition Movement for Democratic Change Alliance has roped in foreigners to shore up its planned demonstrations aimed at toppling the legitimately elected Government of Zimbabwe this Friday. We are equally perturbed by the party’s plans to use street kids to loot shops and destroy buildings in its grand scheme to unseat President Mnangagwa.
It is ironic that the opposition — which prides itself in being a party of excellence and impeccable democratic credentials —wants to use violence to muscle its way into power. We reported yesterday that some foreigners — including a well-known global violence architect from Serbia — arrived in the country ahead of the MDC Alliance demonstrations on Friday under the guise of being tourists.
The Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, Ambassador Cain Mathema, said the MDC Alliance has started rounding up street kids using unmarked and plate-less vehicles, whom they want to use in destroying and looting shops “in return for some goodies”.
“We are also aware that some foreign nationals are now in the country on the pretext of being tourists yet they are activists who are working closely with the opposition political parties to organise the perceived demonstrations,” said Ambassador Mathema.
“The foreigners include one who is known for masterminding the Arab Spring and the recent Sudan clashes. Let me remind foreigners who are dabbling in local politics that Zimbabwe is a sovereign State and will not allow people disguised as tourists to come and promote anarchy and destruction of property in the country.”
We find the planned violent demonstrations totally unnecessary and urge the MDC-A to reconsider its decision to plunge the country into chaos at a time Government is implementing economic turnaround strategies aimed at stabilising and growing the economy. The mayhem and chaos which reigned supreme during the January protests should enjoin all Zimbabweans to condemn in the strongest possible terms any attempts to subvert a constitutionally-elected Government.
The loss of innocent lives and attendant destruction of property should jerk Zimbabweans into ignoring calls for such protests. Instead, peace-loving citizens should go about their daily routines and work towards getting the economy back on track. We are aware that Sections 58 and 59 of the Constitution grant citizens freedom of assembly, association and freedom to demonstrate and petition, but in the same vein, Government has a huge responsibility to ensure law and order is upheld in the country as enshrined in section (219) (1) (c) and (d) of the national supreme law. It is perplexing that the MDC-A has refused to be part of the Political Actors’ Dialogue which brings together all parties who participated in the 2018 harmonised elections but is ready to risk the lives of innocent Zimbabweans in a mindless orgy of violence which is likely to characterise their planned demos.
MDC-A leader Mr Nelson Chamisa and his excitable coterie of advisors who include motor mouth vice president Tendai Biti, secretary general Charlton Hwende and vice chairperson Job Sikhala should be reminded that the blood of innocent Zimbabweans will be on their hands were they to embark on a futile and reckless quest to unseat a democratically-elected Government.
Surely the police and other law enforcement agents cannot fold their hands and watch as anarchy reigns supreme and violence becomes the order of the day. It is time for sober and mature heads in the opposition to prevail and call their comrades to order because the country could easily be plunged into chaos.
Mr Chamisa and his cabal should not be deluded into thinking that some Arab style uprising is in the offing because for one Zimbabwe is not an Arab state and secondly, the people of this country will not stand by while their Government is overthrown in a violent manner by a power hungry opposition. As for the foreigners who are covertly assisting the MDC-A to execute its treasonous plans, we say please stay out of our internal affairs.
Zimbabwe is not a banana republic where every Jack and Jill can come in and do their nefarious bidding. The security forces of this country will not stand by and watch as the constitution is subverted. We therefore call on Zimbabweans to go about their normal business on Friday and to continue observing peace knowing full well that the police and other security organs are ready to protect everyone who wants to move freely.
Commissioner General Godwin Matanga has assured the nation that the police are ready to deal with unruly elements who want to cause alarm and despondency in the country. We also implore members of the public to remain calm and not be swayed into joining violent demonstrations.
The people of Zimbabwe spoke eloquently via the ballot box in July last year and the next election is in 2023. There is no backdoor to power in a constitutional democracy.