MDC-T in bid to escalate violence Obert Gutu
Obert Gutu

Obert Gutu

Lloyd Gumbo and Elita Chikwati
ANALYSTS yesterday rapped the MDC-T after the opposition party hastily convened a Press conference urging its members to join hooligans who were blocking roads in Epworth and Ruwa.

The beleaguered main opposition party that has been plagued by splinters and defections has been advocating violent, illegal regime change but has been consistently ignored by peace loving Zimbabweans.

When reports that touts and rank marshals had blocked roads and were stoning vehicles in Epworth and Ruwa filtered through, the MDC-T called an urgent Press conference at its Harvest House headquarters where party spokesperson Mr Obert Gutu, who was flanked by secretary general Douglas Mwonzora, urged MDC-T members to join the protests.

“As MDC we have absolutely no shame to say here and now, that we fully support all the peaceful demonstrations that disgruntled Zimbabweans have since embarked upon,” said Mr Gutu.

“As the situation deteriorates in Zimbabwe, we stand in support of any exercise of their rights in line with the dictates of the Constitution, which gives us the right to demonstrate.

“We, in the MDC support any sector that is embarking in peaceful demonstrations. As a party, we urge all our members, to join any legitimate demonstration that is meant to bring pressure on this regime.

“On our part, as MDC we shall continue to mobilise Zimbabweans against this Government, which must resign because it has failed the people of Zimbabwe.”

Mr Gutu said they also supported the planned “complete shutdown demonstration” opposition elements have called for tomorrow.

But political analysts flayed the MDC-T for seeking to profit from mayhem.

Political analyst Professor Sheunesu Mpepereki said the MDC-T was running out of ideas.

He said the import restrictions on certain goods by Government was meant to promote local industry.

“Farmers in Gokwe had abandoned producing cotton while companies such as David Whitehead had collapsed due to imports,” he said.

“Now Government has banned importation of basic commodities so that our own industries can be revived.

“It is unfortunate that some political parties take advantage of such situations. Some of the people who were rioting at Beitbridge (Border Post) were not cross border traders but some people who were paid to cause trouble.

“What kind of a political party is the MDC that encourages people to engage in criminal activities? We cannot support such lawlessness.

“We should instead be advocating for the correction of the economy and support Government in its endeavour to protect the local industry,” said Prof Mpepereki.

Another political analyst, Mr Elton Ziki said it was thuggish behaviour for a political party to support criminal activities.

“Their narrative on development is skewed. MDC is relying on a borrowed thought and think destroying property is the best way of addressing grievances.

“There is no way one can destroy public infrastructure or institutional property such as Beitbridge storage and have production going up in terms of local manufacturing of basic goods. When people do not have jobs they do not have to burn property. Destroying property will not create jobs.

“All the challenges people are going through require amicable solutions and not property destruction. We cannot have people hurting each other. It is a recipe for civil unrest and in most cases it is innocent people who suffer,” said Mr Ziki.

Political analyst and Christian College of Southern Africa principal director, Mr Tichaona Zinhumwe said it was disturbing that a political party would support violence.

“Violence should be condemned whether perpetrated by Government or individuals. People have a right to express themselves but they should not use violence.

“MDC-T as a political organisation should not encourage violence as a means to achieve their goals,” he said.

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