Zanu PF frets over planned protests

ZANU PF says the planned July 31 protests presented a threat to its hegemony and accused the opposition MDC Alliance of leading an “unholy alliance” to remove President Emmerson Mnangagwa unconstitutionally.

BY MOSES MATENGA

Party secretary for administration Obert Mpofu claimed self-exiled former Zanu PF members, including ex-minister Jonathan Moyo, were also “exhorting mass uprising in the country” to oust Mnangagwa.

“Our party detractors continue with their anti-establishment agendas,” Mpofu said while addressing a Zanu PF policy dialogue meeting on Monday.

“The party (Zanu PF) is aware of the plan for mass protests (on July 31) being organised by the MDC Alliance renegades, Tajamuka, the Front for Economic Emancipation of Zimbabwe being led by the expelled ex-party (youth) commissar Godfrey Tsenengamu and other media protagonists.”

He added: “Our security departments should constantly alert us on this clear and present danger of the activities of this unholy alliance.”

Mnangagwa’s reign has been marred by discontent, with many people saying the Zanu PF leader has failed to take Zimbabwe out of the economic woods.

Last month, in what observers said was an indication of panic by the Mnangagwa administration, Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe, flanked by fellow security ministers and service chiefs addressed journalists where he accused exiled former minister and G40 proponent Saviour Kasukuwere of working with the opposition, represented by Zengeza West MP Job Sikhala, and some unnamed military and government officials to oust Mnangagwa.

Kazembe also implicated Western embassies, churches and civic society organisations in the plot to unseat Mnangagwa.

The Home Affairs minister, however, ruled out any possibility of a coup against Mnangagwa, who a week later accused economic saboteurs, he chose to describe as “wolves in sheep skin”, of plotting his political demise.

But Mpofu on Monday accused the exiled Moyo of “exhorting mass uprising in the country” by demonising the Zanu PF leadership.

“We take note and welcome the Prosecutor-General’s efforts for the extradition of Professor Jonathan Moyo from Kenya as he is the figment of the external demonisation of our leadership and exhorting (sic) mass uprising in the country,” he said.

“Our security departments’ role in jealously guarding the integrity and the reputation of the party is critical.”

He said a Harare man was arrested in Kuwadzana while printing Zanu PF and Central Intelligence Organisation cards.

Mpofu linked the incident to the planned July 31 mass action.

“The level and sophistication of such an act points to the fact that there are leakages and gross breaches of our internal party systems which would be thoroughly investigated,” Mpofu said.

He, however, could not explain how the discovery would be linked to the planned July 31 protests.

Mnangagwa’s government has been struggling to contain unrests among citizens over the deteriorating economy, with nurses already on strike and teachers threatening to join them.

Defence minister Oppah Muchinguri and Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga recently disclosed that morale was also at rock bottom in the military and police.

One of the organisers of the July 31 mass protest, Jacob Ngarivhume of Transform Zimbabwe, said the plan was gathering momentum after his meeting with church leaders and representatives from different opposition and civil society outfits on the way forward.

Ngarivhume said the response ahead of July 31 was encouraging and many people were coming through with the needed material.

“I am very encouraged by people coming up with various materials to promote the July 31 movement. It shows that this is not about a single group with an agenda, but about the Zimbabwean people,” he said.

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) yesterday accused Mnangagwa of using State machinery to silence dissent.

“We are disturbed, but not surprised. This is continuation of the old system,” ZCTU said in a statement yesterday while responding to questions on the Monday arrest of nurses at Sally Mugabe Hospital.

“We wanted to see the back of Mugabe, no doubt about it, so we will not regret that Mugabe went and we celebrated his leaving, but we are not amused with what the new administration is doing at all.”

MDC Alliance deputy spokesperson Clifford Hlatshwayo said the July 31 issue was a citizens’ movement.

“We are citizens first. So at this juncture, the citizen oppressor fears the oppressed. Zanu PF must leave MDC Alliance alone and face their own music. We warned them several times that the way they are treating Zimbabweans is cruel and that one day, the people will come out and demand their vote and their rights.”

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