BY BLESSED MHLANGA
THE opposition MDC’s top leadership is convening in Harare today to review their foiled countrywide protests which were ruthlessly crushed by the police and soldiers.
The leaders are expected to brainstorm and come up with new strategies to force President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government to restore political and economic stability in the country.
Highly-placed MDC sources said party leader Nelson Chamisa, after being outfoxed by Mnangagwa on the diplomatic front in the region, will be looking for new ways to continue piling up political pressure on the Zanu PF government without causing bloodshed.
“The meeting comes in the face of blocked demonstrations in Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru and other towns. The MDC is clear that political pressure is the only alternative given that leaders on the continent are siding with the oppressive regime. So we are now finding new ways of venting and they are there,” the source said.
Using the Public Order and Security Act, the police banned demonstrations slated for Harare, Bulawayo and Gweru between Friday and yesterday, deploying heavily armed police to disperse the protesters. The opposition tried to use the courts, but left with egg on the face after the courts upheld the police’s prohibition orders.
Deputy party spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka confirmed the meeting would take place to devise new strategies.
“These are not normal times in the country. The nation is agitated due to enormous national grievances that include power shortages, fuel shortages, unemployment as well as the imposition of a debased currency that has dismally failed to provide respite to the despondent nation. Amid all this, we are experiencing what amounts to the subversion of the constitutional order in the country. The fascist regime has staged yet another coup, this time, a coup of the Constitution of the country and we are basically under a de facto state of emergency. Under these circumstances, the leadership has to meet and will meet,” Tamborinyoka said.
He added that the deployment of State security agents on the streets of Harare, Bulawayo and Gweru was ample demonstration that the MDC needed to revisit it tactics.
“When you see the State machinery all over our towns attempting to stop the citizens from exercising their constitutional rights, it amounts to a coup of the Constitution. The crude and fascist banning of the citizens’ right to march peacefully means there is a need to discuss the mammoth crisis and gross violation of human rights,” he said.
Turning to Sadc, the MDC said while it continues with its diplomatic offensive, it was dismayed that Mnangagwa had been made the chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security.
Contacted for comment, Zanu PF secretary for legal affairs Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana said the ruling party was not worried about the MDC’s change of tact.
“The party does not enforce the laws of this country. We are, therefore, not concerned about the restrategising of the MDC,” he said.