Armed police besiege St Mary’s…. residents engage in running battles
By Nyashadzashe Ndoro
The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has vowed not to be stopped by ruling Zanu PF’s intimidation tactics, amid a report that on Saturday the anti-riot police raided MDC vice chairperson and Zengeza West MP Job Sikhala’s home in St Mary’s, Chitungwiza.
The MDC supporters, mainly the youth, held an all-night demonstration demanding the safety of Sikhala who had received threats from a Zanu-PF linked pressure group, Citizens Concerned, that they wanted to camp at his house in St Mary’s this weekend and demand to be fed.
Police reportedly fired teargas to disperse angry residents who retaliated by throwing stones. A state owned ZUPCO bus on its way to Harare from Chitungwiza was also stoned.
Nehanda Radio understands MDC National Youth Assembly spokesperson Stephen Sarkozy Chuma was on Saturday morning arrested along with other opposition youths;
Nyasha Mutsindikwa, Elton Marimbe, Dambudzo Mhike, Tendayi Timuri, Jabulani Chatindiara, Christopher Muretu, Terrence Manjengwa, John Molebaleng, Brian Mushakwe, Tanyaradzwa Zawaira and Taurai Nyamanhindi after they held an all-night vigil at Sikhala’s residence.
MDC Deputy National Spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka accused President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s “illegitimate” government of persecuting the opposition members.
“The illegitimate ED regime has gone utterly berserk in Chitungwiza, with heavily armed police sealing off St Mary’s, persecuting party leaders and indiscriminately arresting party youths in this high density area of Chitungwiza.
“Among those arrested is national youth assembly spokesperson Stephen Sarkozy Chuma while the MP for the area and MDC Deputy National Chairperson Hon. Hon Sikhala was summoned to the police for no clear reason.
“The police went on an orgy of violence in St Mary’s, breaking doors and barging into private homes in search of anyone suspected to be MDC,” Tamborinyoka said.
Tamborinyoka rebuked Mnangagwa’s regime for treating the opposition like terrorists.
“No reason was given for the siege and the State-sanctioned violence. Last week, Zanu PF distributed fliers mobilising their supporters to siege the rural home of President Nelson Chamisa in Gutu as well as the urban homes of Vice President Tendai Biti and Deputy National Chairperson Hon. Sikhala.
“The MDC regards the siege in St Mary’s and the incessant harassment of party leaders as needless persecution. The regime is treating the MDC as a terrorist organisation when it is a legitimate political party reprethis ed in Parliament and running the majority of local government
councils,” added Tamborinyoka.
At the beginning of 2020, MDC had vowed to commit the year to mass protests to force Mnangagwa to come to the negotiating table.
“The MDC has declared 2020 as the year of Action and no amount of intimidation will cow the nation from sonorously expressing their displeasure at the illegitimate regime that has dismally failed to address the challenges facing the people.
“It is the people who are truly sovereign and terror tactics will not work. State-sanctioned violence will not stop any idea whose time has come,” added Tamborinyoka.
However, MDC leader Nelson Chamisa also blames ZANU PF for sanctions imposed on the country.
He is on record arguing, “why should our country be debated in Europe on account of what we have done or not?
“Why should our country be debated in the holes of Washington?
” It is because we have done things that are bad for our own people.
“Why would you rape women? Why would you kill citizens who are demonstrating? Chamisa said. Nehanda Radio