By Obey Manayiti | NewsDay |
The Nelson Chamisa-led MDC party yesterday dismissed threats by Zanu PF youths to counter their demonstrations, saying the ruling party had no mandate to stop their constitutional right to protest.
Zanu PF youths on Thursday threatened to block the opposition party’s planned protests over the rising cost of living. This came at a time the opposition has threatened to call for protests against President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration.
“These youths have got blood on their hands,” MDC spokesperson Jacob Mafume.
He alleged that there were some Zanu PF youths who took part in a clampdown against opposition members and ordinary citizens after the January demonstration, but many of them were let free.
“It is constitutional to hold an anti-government demonstration anywhere in the world and it is dangerous to create a quasi-group of people who threaten to deal with other people. It is dangerous for the State to keep quiet and not deal with those people,” Mafume said.
“The State must deal with those people thoroughly and stop them from making statements which are likely to inflame the situation. They have no right to police anyone or to stop anyone from doing a demonstration against the government.”
Mafume said if Zanu PF youths wanted to stand in solidarity with the government, then they could demonstrate in support of the government, but not to interfere with their plans.
MDC youth leader Obey Sithole dared the Zanu PF youths, claiming they had no capacity to stop them.
“I have come across their claims, but let me categorically state that it is misplaced and misleading for one to think they can stop an idea whose time has come. Zanu PF has no locus standi to stop a people’s demonstration, let alone speak about it,” he said.
“We are definitely unmoved by such threats. We will not betray the people of Zimbabwe; we shall continue pursuing our path to power until freedom comes.”
Meanwhile, Sithole was yesterday summoned by the Zimbabwe Republic Police’s Law and Order Section for interrogation after he recently gave Mnangagwa’s government until month-end to resolve the ongoing socio-economic and political crises facing the country or face mass demonstrations.
“Our leader has been summoned by the ZRP. He will report at Harare Central Police Station today (yesterday) in company of his lawyers,” said MDC youth assembly spokesperson Stephen “Sarkozy” Chuma. He was reportedly warned and released without charge.
Chuma said Sithole never broke any law in his address to journalists, where he issued the ultimatum.