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Zimbabwe govt alleges 'external forces' at play in upcoming protests

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Harare, Zimbabwe, August 11 (Infosplusgabon) - Government has accused the opposition of employing external machinations under the guise of “peaceful protests” in the planned national demonstrations on Friday.


As previously reported, Zimbabwe’s main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), gave the Zimbabwe Republic Police a notice last week that they would hold protests on 16 August. The planned protests are against the worsening decline of the economy, rising cost of living and general deterioration in living standards.


“As government we are quite aware that there are political machinations to have these purported demonstrations turned into violent episodes through the use of overt means and the government has a responsibility to protect its citizens from unruly elements and will not renege on this huge responsibilities. Some street kids have even been mobilized to embark on destruction and looting of shops in return for some goodies,” Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage minister Cain Mathema, said in a statement on Sunday.


“Unmarked and plateless vehicles are used to mobilise and pick the identified kids in central business districts (CBD). 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. The foreigners include one who is known for masterminding the Arab Spring and the recent Sudan clashes."


However, political analysts have dismissed these allegations as "conspiracy theories" straight out of the playbook of ruling party, ZANU-PF.


“Let me remind the foreigners who are clearly 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," Mathema said.


"Zimbabweans are therefore urged to continue observing peace and dutifully undertake their socio and economic activities knowing very well that the police and other security services are there to protect anyone who wants to move freely in any part of the country.”


He said the police were ready to deal with unruly elements.


“Members of the public are accordingly implored to remain calm and not be swayed into joining any violent conduct by the opposition under the pretext or guise of 'peaceful demonstration,'” Mathema said.


The statement comes days after ZANU-PF Youth League secretary, Pupurai Togarepi, warned the MDC not to pick fights they could not win.


“ZANU-PF is the ruling party of Zimbabwe, and with a very weak and out-of-sorts opposition such as the MDC, we will rule this country until donkeys grow horns, they can only dream, but then dreams are for free. We say ZANU-PF will rule for ages to come, not because we are undemocratic, but purely because we are the people’s preferred party as," he said.






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