President Mnangagwa blasts opposition parties which thrive on violence

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Harare (New Ziana) – President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Monday urged Zimbabweans to refuse to be used by opposition parties which seek to gain political mileage through sponsoring violence to tarnish the image of the country, especially ahead of major international meetings.

President Mnangagwa said this at the burial of national hero Major General (Rtd) Sydney Bhebhe, who died last Monday.

He was commenting for the first time on the violence which the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) party unleashed in Nyatsime high density suburb, Chitungwiza, last week during the funeral of a local resident, Moreblessing Ali, who it claimed to be its member.

Alleging that Ali was a victim of political targeting, CCC supporters took advantage of her funeral to cause mayhem in the suburb, indiscriminately burning houses and stoning cars as revenge.

This was despite the police having earlier attributed her disappearance to a soured relationship, while testimonies also emerged that she was a paid-up member of the ruling Zanu PF party.

The suspect in the case, Pius Jamba, who was arrested after some days on the run, has since confessed to the murder.

CCC top officials, Job Sikhala and Godfrey Sithole who are also local legislators, have since been arrested for inciting the public to riot.

President Mnangagwa said the violence, sponsored by dirty money secured from some hostile foreign countries keen on effecting regime change, was part of a now all too familiar script rolled out by the opposition ahead of major international meetings.

He said the government and the security forces stood ready to thwart future attempts to foment anarchy.

“What happened recently in the Nyatsime township of Chitungwiza is deplorable and should never be repeated. The nation is now familiar with these shenanigans and incidents of staged violence which are designed to tarnish the image of the Republic of Zimbabwe especially ahead of major international meetings.

“This time around the destabilising and violence theatrics by opposition elements are being done ahead of the Commonwealth meeting in Rwanda,” he said.

“Shame on you, if you are a leader of a political party which thrives on violence and insecurity of our people. You are not relevant, shame on you. The life and property of every Zimbabwean is critically important and will be protected by my government. Our security architecture is on alert, we will not stand by and watch the good image of our nation as well as the safety and security of our people be desecrated by rogue, pseudo politicians who receive dirty money to torment their own African kith and kin.

“I call upon the nation at large, across all provinces, districts and wards to refuse to be used by self-seeking charlatans masquerading as politicians. Parents and guardians please guide your youths accordingly, violence does not pay, you will end up in Chikurubi (prison).”

President Mnangagwa added: “Zimbabwe is a peaceful country and this culture is alien to our society. Under the Second Republic, the law will take effect and its application will be without fear or favour, no one is above the law.”

He said the levels and intensity of falsehoods being peddled by some opposition political outfits to whip their supporters into orgies of violence, hate and disharmony were extremely worrisome.

The trend was also being fueled by regrettable meddling from foreign powers, who actively sponsor civil unrest to effect illegal regime change.

But President Mnangagwa promised that his administration would not stand by and watch the unbecoming trend fester.

“These meddlesome countries and their lobbyists under various guises preach democracy and good governance by the day whilst sponsoring and instigating nefarious activities sponsoring violence and instability in our country by night.

“This is part of their long-held, brute strategies to reverse the gains we have made in consummating our independence, our self-determination, our sovereignty, economic empowerment and total freedom of our people,” he said.

“Violence has no place in the Zimbabwe we are building, we want peace, we want harmony and love. Equally let us as a people shun all forms of self-hate as well as the peddling of falsehoods and misinformation. Together, we must entrench the values of love, the values of honesty, the values of hard honest work and patriotism as we continue on the journey to guarantee our national development and prosperity for all our people, no matter where they live.”

President Mnangagwa also urged the nation to remain peaceful ahead of the 2023 general elections.

“Our political contestations must never degenerate into violence, no,” he said.

Elections in Zimbabwe have been characterised by violence since the CCC (formerly MDC-T) was formed in 1999 as it is desperate to get into power and also refuses to accept defeat.

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