By Tatenda Dewa | Nehanda Radio|
Government has claimed the opposition Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) party recently stage managed violence in order to get sympathy ahead of a reported UK trip by its leader, Joice Mujuru.
ZimPF said in a recent statement that axe-wielding Zanu PF youths attacked its members in Guruve, Mashonaland Central province, at the weekend after invading one of the opposition party member’s farm.
The party circulated pictures of injured victims and cars that were damaged during the alleged attack by the party youths.
Among those caught up in the violence was Agrippa Mutambara, a senior ZimPF member.
But George Charamba, the information secretary and presidential spokesperson, told government media that the attack was staged to mop up sympathy for Mujuru who he said would be travelling to Catham House in London.
Mutambara, according to government, provoked the Zanu PF youths by firing at them and got himself injured in the process.
“The whole idea is to try and engineer an event so as to support Joice Mujuru who is due to appear at the Chatham House,” said Charamba.
“He (Mutambara) is one guy who has had it good for a long time uninterrupted and who thinks he must have it good until he gets to the cemetery. He decides to go to some farm in Guruve (and he is not even farming in Guruve) and thinks he can subdue a community using a pistol,” said Charamba.
He said the “staged” event was meant to tarnish the image of the country and implied Mutambara, a former ambassador, was being ungrateful to President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF which gave him favourable treatment when he was still in government.
“What we are seeing is political showmanship and done at the expense of the image of this country. The brigadier-general must know a lot better, guns are not used loosely and he better stop it.
“Let him do his politics well. He had lots of support from government. He had lots of support from the president personally. It does not mean he was the most competent person. There were many people who could have represented Zanu-PF. There were many people who could have represented government as ambassador,” added Charamba.
The security sector, through the Joint Operations Command (JOC) that brings together the army, intelligence, police and prison services department, is suspected to have hatched a plan to orchestrate violence and blame it on the opposition and civil rights defenders.
On Tuesday, suspected Zanu PF youths went on the rampage and stoned vendors, passersby and buildings.
The National Vendors Union of Zimbabwe (NAVUZ) immediately disowned the protest and accused Zanu PF of seeking to tarnish its image.
Critics say Zanu PF is plotting to discredit civil protests so as to justify a clampdown on human rights defenders. Nehanda Radio