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Bloody clashes feared at Sadc Summit

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Jockeying for attention had on Friday night reached a crescendo at the venue of Saturday’s Sadc meeting in South Africa where MDC-T and civic society groups faced off against Zanu PF to win the hearts of Southern African leaders dealing with the political tug-of-war in Zimbabwe.

The MDC-T yesterday said it had partnered with civic society groups to thwart “shenanigans” by Zanu PF apologists, including Goodson Nguni, who were distributing dossiers in a bid to divert attention from real problems bedevilling the country.

Zanu PF was allegedly dishing out what it claimed was evidence to prove MDC-T was a violent party.

As a counter-strategy, the MDC-T reportedly compiled evidence of State-sponsored violence and distributed it to Sadc leaders.

Party spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora on Friday night said: “The issue at hand is to put the issue of violence in Zimbabwe into proper perspective. The most dangerous form of violence which poses the greatest threat to peace and stability in the country is State-sponsored violence.

“State-sponsored violence has direct and indirect involvement of State agents. It is direct involvement in the sense that police, army and CIO can harass and kill innocent people themselves or can help perpetrators before, during and after the offences,” Mwonzora said.

Mwonzora said State agents were known to aid violence by refusing to arrest perpetrators of violence.

“Zanu PF, through a body led by one (Goodson) Nguni, prepared a document called MDC-T and the Culture of Violence. The purpose is to portray MDC-T as a violent party.”

He said: “The MDC-T want to put the record straight and the record is (that) there is State-sponsored violence in Zimbabwe that can easily degenerate into genocide if it is left unabated.”

Mwonzora said most Zimbabweans were murdered and maimed by State agents and a roll of shame to name all known perpetrators of violence and the State agents that aided them should be compiled.

Meanwhile reports from Johannesburg said last night chaos was expected to break out at the summit after it emerged both President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Tsvangirai’s supporters had lined up counter-demonstrations outside the venue of the gathering in Sandton.

South African Police Service have given the green light to MDC-T supporters to organise their demonstrations at the summit venue, but it was not clear as of last night whether Zanu PF supporters had also been cleared.

Scores of pro-Zanu PF supporters were pouring into Johannesburg on hired buses. War veterans were reportedly in town. There were fears supporters from the opposing camps could clash.

However, there was heavy police presence at the venue.

The MDC-T on Friday said it was fully behind the Livingstone Sadc resolutions which condemned President Mugabe for failing to fulfil the Global Political Agreement.

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