KWEKWE– Barely a fortnight after both the police and the courts outlawed a series of demonstrations that had been planned by the MDC Alliance across the country’s major towns; the main opposition party has defiantly contended that it will soon hold protests in Kwekwe following the abduction and subsequent torture of the party’s provincial chairperson for the Youth Assembly, SekaiMarashe, this week.
Kwekwe is also home to Zimbabwe President EmmersonMnangagwa whose official Sherwood residence is a few kilometers from the Midlands mining town.
Addressing journalists at a press conference Wednesday afternoon, MDC Midlands deputy chairperson, ThembinkosiMalahleka, said the demonstrations will only be held in Kwekwe where Marashe was brutally assaulted.
Marashe, who is currently receiving medical treatment at Kwekwe Genera Hospital, was reportedly attacked with logs, sjamboks and machetes by suspected Zanu PF youths on Tuesday afternoon.
“According to the Constitution, every person has a right to demonstrate and present petition but those rights must be exercised peacefully. We are going to demonstrate (and) we will notify the police. Everything that we are going to do, or whatever action that we are going to take, will be within the confines of the Constitution. Because, as the government-in-waiting, we cannot promote lawlessness”, Malahleka said.
“Their (Zanu PF) leader, MrMnangagwa cannot blow hot-and-cold (while) at the same time he purports to be a leader who is peaceful and soft as wool while his youths, or the culprits, or the rogue elements are doing the opposite of what he is saying. They are perpetuating a wrong and illegal activity. If ED is not part of that activity, or conspiracy, he must take reasonable steps to avert this”, he said.
Speaking during the same occasion the party’s provincial secretary for communications, KizitoMupungu,said President Mnangagwa is ‘pushing the country closer to a civil war’ because of the alleged continued abductions and torture on civic and opposition figures.
“We are democratic party that respects the fundamental rights of every person as provided for in the Constitution (and) the ongoing savaging of our members and that of other democratic forces by the state agents and Zanu PF has some visible footprints of Mnangagwa who is a well-known merchant of violence. Mnangagwa is now pushing the country closer to civil war; we have now come to a point where we cannot remain idle while we continue to be attacked. Zanu PF has no monopoly of violence”, Mupungu said.
The opposition was recently dealt a blow after their planned demos were outlawed on the eleventh hour and police handed a vicious crackdown on hundreds of opposition supporters who had gathered in Harare despite the ban in mid-August. Hundreds of opposition supporters were arrested following the clampdown.