BY BLESSED MHLANGA
THE main opposition MDC has accused government of putting the country under an undeclared state of emergency, with security forces virtually camped in cities and high-density suburbs
MDC spokesperson Jacob Mafume yesterday said government had now become the biggest threat to peace and stability by wantonly arresting members of the civil society and staging hoax demonstrations in an effort to find an excuse to declare a state of emergency.
“Recent developments in the country have exposed a failed government that is running scared of citizens’ demands to be governed differently and effectively. The country is effectively on military lockdown. Soldiers have pitched tents in high-density suburbs and no reason of deployment have been brought to Parliament in line with constitutional requirements; there is also an unconstitutional attempt by the illegitimate government to ban demonstrations and industrial action,” Mafume said.
Through State-controlled media, government and police have warned of impending demonstrations, accusing the United States of America and civil society of being behind the plot to oust President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his government from power because of its failure to arrest the economic decline.
Government has already put its security agents on high alert to deal with the alleged plots to topple Mnangagwa.
Facing a sharp rise in the cost of living, crippling fuel and energy shortages and wages losing purchasing power, workers have warned that they are left with no option, but to face government head on.
Home Affairs minister Cain Mathema on Monday warned that the threatened strikes would invite drastic action from security forces.
Mafume said this was only an excuse and avenue to justify military intervention to thwart peaceful demonstration by the people of Zimbabwe.
“All these developments are not just unacceptable, but undemocratic and a violation of basic human rights as provided for in the national Constitution. Just last night, suspected State security agents raided Crisis Coalition in Zimbabwe (CiZC) chairperson Rashid Mahiya’s home, refused to identify themselves as they banged at his doors. This is unacceptable,” he said.
Mafume’s boss Nelson Chamisa has since said his party was prepared to push Mnangagwa and his government out of State power before his five-year term comes to an end.
Speaking at the just-ended MDC congress, Chamisa said his party would force Mnangagwa to the negotiating table to ensure elections are held well before 2023.
“I have already said that 2023 is too far. Why am I saying it’s far? We must make sure that we have a democratic election in this country as soon as possible. If they refuse we will force them for that democratic election to happen in this country,” he said.
In the past week, seven democracy activists among them Stabile Dewa, Farirai Gumbonzvanda, Gamuchirai Makura, George Makoni, Frank Nyasha Mpahlo, Rita Nyamupinga and Tatenda were arrested and are currently languishing in prison on charges of trying to subvert a constitutionally elected government.
The MDC said it was concerned by what it termed a “dictatorial attitude by the failed government and its incapacity to lead this nation in any positive direction”.