Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
GOVERNMENT yesterday warned the MDC Alliance that the law will be used to decisively deal with opposition members threatening to illegally unseat a constitutionally elected administration.
In an interview, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Cain Mathema said the country’s constitution is the supreme law of the land and should be adhered to in electing or removing public officials.
He made the remarks in response to MDC-Alliance deputy national chairman Mr Job Sikhala who during a rally in Masvingo at the weekend threatened that his party will overthrow President Mnangagwa Government before the end of his term in 2023.
President Mnangagwa’s Government was constitutionally elected last year following the July 2018 harmonised elections.
Cde Mathema said the law will be employed on any citizen who violates it.
“Anybody who is against the Constitution of Zimbabwe will be arrested. Anybody who is against the Constitution which is our fundamental law and all other Acts and Statutory Instruments we don’t care who he is, we implement what the laws say. Anyone thinking along those lines should know that the law will descend on them,” said Cde Mathema.
In a statement on the same issue, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Permanent Secretary Mr Nick Mangwana said overthrowing an elected Government was a serious crime and authorities will decisively deal with any acts of subversion.
“Government has noted with disgust insurgent rants from a member of the opposition threatening the legitimate public authorities in Zimbabwe. The illegal undermining of a legitimate authority is a serious crime. Trying to overthrow a government is subversive and Government will not hesitate to deploy the security institutions to constrain such abuse of democratic tenets and maintain the constitutional order,” said Mr Mangwana.
“Zimbabwe is a peaceful country and that peace is not accidental. That status of a peaceful country will be maintained by ensuring those that threaten democracy and the liberal values adopted by the New Dispensation are tried and if convicted, removed from society and put in places where they do not pose a threat to the rest of civilised society.”
He said instead of being irrational and emotional on issues, the opposition should be rational and follow the country’s laws.
Mr Mangwana said the MDC Alliance should subscribe to Constitutional means of opposing Government.
He said Government was also conscious that the opposition’s utterances could be part of its efforts to throw spanners into its re-engagement with the West.
“We do not rule out deliberate effort to provoke the authorities into enforcing the law so as to get negative international attention at the time when the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Hon SB Moyo, is meeting the British Foreign Minister, Jeremy Hunt as well as the Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Baroness Scotland to advance Zimbabwe’s re-engagement and mainstreaming efforts. While we will not hesitate to enforce the law, we will not be baited to a predictable default synonymous with the old dispensation,” said Mr Mangwana.
Speaking at a Press conference at the party headquarters in Harare yesterday, Zanu-PF Secretary for Information and Publicity Cde Simon Khaya Moyo said the statement by the MDC leadership — including its leader Nelson Chamisa — that they are seriously planning to overthrow President Mnangagwa’s Government is enough proof of a declaration of war.
“The MDC party and its leadership must stand warned that should they pursue such a reckless adventure; the consequences are dire.
“The revolutionary party and its Government are a product of a protracted liberation war which brought about the freedom and independence to Zimbabwe in 1980 inclusive of those who now belong to the MDC party. It must be noted that thousands perished during the war, many thousands were maimed and those alive remain disabled to this day. Property including the masses’ only homes were destroyed by a bitter enemy, livestock was looted and these scars remain freshly embedded in our memory,” said Cde Khaya Moyo.
He warned MDC to stop threatening violence against peace loving Zimbabweans.
“Now for a misguided entity masquerading as a democratic movement to attempt to destabilise the nation in our presence can only invoke our contempt as a progressive society.
“It is archaic and anti-development.
“Let these purveyors and perpetrators of anarchy be reminded of the sanctity of life of our people which the revolutionary party, Zanu-PF fought for and will continue to safeguard. These treasonous statements which the MDC and its retrogressive leadership continue to churn is an affront to the democratic culture which the revolutionary party, Zanu-PF, ushered and has nurtured to this day,” he added.
He said the MDC party would face the full wrath of the law if they attempt to cause anarchy.
“We are a sovereign nation whose security sector will not brook such utter contempt of our people’s dignity. The revolutionary party continues to applaud the people for their exhibition of restraint in the face of such overt provocation by the MDC, a party ever ready to pander to the whims of the nation’s detractors,” he added. — @nqotshili