Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
THE Zanu-PF Youth League in Matabeleland South yesterday slammed the planned MDC Alliance demonstration set for tomorrow, saying it is an unwanted political gimmick bent on causing anarchy in the country.
The party’s provincial Youth League chairman Cde Washington Nkomo said youths stand in solidarity with President Mnangagwa, who has stood firm on economic transformation of the country. He said the President is positioning the country for prosperity hence it is not the time to take matters to the streets.
“We stand in support of His Excellency’s fight against corruption and indeed his efforts to rebuild this great nation. His commitment to fight corruption has resulted in the prosecution of high profile people recently, and so far a whole Minister was relieved of her duties on that account, a record that many countries are learning from,” he said.
President Mnangagwa fired Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Prisca Mupfumira who is facing corruption charges involving US$95 million.
Cde Nkomo said President Mnangagwa has championed reconciliation through promotion of freedom of expression even in matters that were previously discussed in hushed tones.
He said the Youth League is aware of machinations of the opposition who want to destabilise the country’s peace.
Cde Nkomo said MDC Alliance which has failed to get an electoral mandate from the people only understand chaos and violence as a means of remaining relevant.
“We have witnessed for the very first time a President publicly addressing the Gukurahundi issue, the multiparty dialogue among many other engagement efforts he has spearheaded. All these efforts give us hope as the youthful populace of this country. We are very cognisant, however, of the fact that agents of regime change and terrorists do not enjoy the steady progress and peace which we are enjoying, they wish to see our nation slide into anarchy,” he said.
“We have seen previous pseudo-demonstrations turning violent and chaotic at a speed unimaginable. All such fake ‘peaceful demonstrations’ are fronted by mercenaries and criminals. This is very evident in the manner in which shops are looted, civilians are attacked and vehicles burnt.”
Cde Nkomo said the youths will not stand aloof as the opposition attempts to throw the country into turmoil. He urged the public to go about their business.
“We therefore wish to categorically state that the Matabeleland South Youth League is solidly behind the President, his Government and the masses of Zimbabwe, as such we will not tolerate or allow violence and acts of banditry in all our towns and growth points, Beitbridge, Gwanda, Plumtree, Filabusi and Esigodini,” said Cde Nkomo.
Meanwhile, the public have been urged to ignore the demonstrations as they do not benefit from the protests. National Schools Development Associations and Committees chairperson Mr Max Mkandla said as an organisation they were against the planned MDC Alliance demonstrations as they would worsen people’s plight as witnessed in January.
Mr Mkandla said the MDC Alliance will not take responsibility if the demonstrators turn violent resulting in the destruction of property yet they will be the organisers of the protests.
“Who will be answerable when lives are lost? Thus, we want to urge members of the public that they should not participate in the demonstration as they might even lose their lives yet those who plan these incidents will be moving on with their lives,” said Mr Mkandla.
He said the prevailing economic challenges require the opposition to sit down with President Mnangagwa and come up with solutions for the country instead of taking to the streets.
President Mnangagwa has opened the door for the opposition through the composition of Political Actors’ Dialogue (Polad), which brings together political players which participated in last year’s Harmonised Elections.
MDC Alliance has, however, refused to join Polad as they prefer violent protests.
Sisonke Women’s Forum spokesperson Ms Sibongile Bhebhe said women suffer the most during protests and youths are often exploited.
“As bearers of children, it is painful to see our children, our youths being used during demonstrations. We have lost our children during past demonstrations and we wonder what this planned demonstration is going to bring for us.
“Will it be another pain for us when the organisers of the demonstrations will stand to benefit if they achieve what they want to achieve?” asked Ms Bhebhe.
She said political leaders should put their heads together and find solutions for the challenges affecting the country.
Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister, Cde Cain Mathema, on Monday revealed that Government had found out that the MDC Alliance has engaged insurgents said to have masterminded the Arab Spring uprisings that overthrew elected governments in North Africa and the Middle East and roped in street kids to foment violence in its planned five-day countrywide protests.
Cde Mathema revealed that security forces will decisively deal with rogue elements while urging terrorists groups posing as foreigners to respect the country’s sovereignty or risk arrest.— @nqotshili