Zanu PF hijack heroes day
By Chengetai Zvauya
HARARE – Zanu PF supporters yesterday hijacked Heroes Day commemorations in Harare and turned the event into a party rally where coalition government partners were jeered and humiliated.
The atmosphere at the national Heroes Acre resembled a Zanu PF rally. No senior official from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC party was at the shrine as it coincided with the burial of Public Service Minister Eliphas Mukonoweshuro.
But that did not stop Zanu PF supporters from humiliating Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara and Harare mayor Muchadeyi Masunda, an MDC appointee. Both men had turned up at the national shrine. The supporters jeered as Mugabe made salutations to the two. Others sang hymns and carried placards derogatory of Tsvangirai.
“They should go. What do they want here? They are puppets,” the supporters would chant, forcing Mugabe to pause his speech. Prior to the Heroes Day commemorations, coalition government representatives from Zanu PF and the two MDC formations had met and agreed that no-one should be allowed to attend the national event in party regalia.
MDC Harare provincial spokesperson Obert Gutu and Zanu PF women’s league boss Oppah Muchinguri had confirmed that the parties had agreed that the wearing of party was out of sync with the national event. Yesterday, Zanu PF youths were joined by Mbare Chimurenga Choir in singing songs denouncing MDC leaders as “sell-outs” at the national shrine.
Zanu PF actions are in contrast to the Global Political Agreement (GPA) that compels all the three political parties to respect national events, desist from wearing their party regalia at such events and not denigrate each other verbally through songs and hate speech. The GPA is the coalition government’s founding accord.
At yesterday’s event Zanu PF supporters could be seen holding placards denouncing MDC leaders and blaming them for travel and financial sanctions imposed on Mugabe and his inner ruling, business and military elite by Western countries. In his speech Mugabe challenged the United States and other Western countries, telling them he would win a military battle against them.
Sounding paranoid, Mugabe suggested that Western countries could try bombing him the same way they have targeted fellow long-time serving strongman, Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi. He described the Western leaders as “mad people”.
“We have some mad people in Europe who are defying the International law. Look at what they are doing to Libya. They are attacking Libya under the pretext of protecting the citizens and upholding human rights,” said Mugabe, departing from his prepared speech.
“They are seeking to kill Gaddafi and they have deliberately killed Gaddafi’s children and throwing bombs at his family home. They are doing exactly what the Taliban does and what is the difference between them and these terrorist groups?
This is terrorism and murder and it is a war that has lost legitimacy and it has become terrorism,” said Mugabe, before blowing his own war horn. “They can do this to another African country and leader. But we tell them that if they try it here we are prepared for them,’’ said Mugabe to applause from the crowd. Daily News