MDC-T, ZimPF up terror campaign
Felex Share : Senior Reporter
MDC-T, Zimbabwe People First and their proxies have scaled up their terrorism acts and continue circulating subversive messages on social media in their bid to foment anarchy and despondency in the country, it has emerged. The dissident messages, analysts said, vindicate the notion that the opposition elements were terrorists who should face the full wrath of the law.This comes as Government yesterday said the law would soon descend on opposition leaders using “juveniles as fodders for jail.”
MDC-T, through shadowy elements using the hashtags “Tajamuka”, “Thisflag” and “ThisCountry” have continued sending guerilla messages on social media, threatening to burn businesses, buses, police stations and service stations.
The insurgent activities, which were supposed to start on Monday, have been largely ignored by Zimbabweans who have come to the realisation that the terror groups are on a mission to loot and vandalise property.
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Police have made their mission impossible, deploying adequate officers on the ground to deal with any nuisance. Government ministries in charge of security have also issued a stern warning that malcontents would be cracked down on.
Reads one of the messages sent by the shadowy elements: “There will be serious attacks on Government properties and those owned by Zanu-PF bigwigs and supporters. Businesses are advised not to open for business on Monday and Tuesday. Zimbabwe will be on serious fire and guns will be blazing everywhere and police stations and roadblocks will be attacked. The State has declared war to its citizens and as concerned citizens, we are declaring war to the Government now. Be warned. Don’t be found wanting on Monday and Tuesday. Musamire pamaservice stations maZimbabweans.”
Secretary for Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Mr George Charamba yesterday said the synergy between the shadowy groups and opposition elements, principally MDC-T and Zimbabwe People First, was visible.
As such, Government’s security sectors would deal with both the youths and their leaders who are using and inciting them.
“There is fast convergence between the rhetoric of violence on social media and actual violence of opposition goons on the streets of Harare and one would be a fool to think the symbiosis remains invisible,” he said.
“The next level of convergence will be one linking the law of the land and so-called leaders of the opposition who cannot continue to use impressionable youths as fodder for jails.”
Added Mr Charamba: “There are elders behind the juvenile violence and the response cannot concentrate on terrorist minors only. It won’t be long. The adverb “peacefully” on Section 59 of the Constitution is not stylistic.”
Section 59 of the Constitution stipulates that every person has the right to demonstrate and present petitions peacefully.
However, most of the demonstrations carried out by opposition elements have been characterised by vandalism, looting, burning of cars and attacking of innocent people.
Police officers going about their duties have also been attacked.
MDC-T spokesperson Mr Obert Gutu yesterday tried to distance his party from the shadowy elements causing chaos in the city.
“We do not control social media and we cannot be held responsible for people who disseminate whatever they disseminate,” he said.
“We cannot be responsible for anyone who decides to open their own chat groups and do what they want. All our associations with other political parties, civic organisation and all other stakeholders are benchmarked on constitutionality, lawfulness and respect for the rule of law.”
Mr Charamba responded: “It is not the social media which is at fault. It is the content put on it and Government does not control content. The issue is not the platform but content put on the platform by their people.”
Lawyer, Mr Terrence Hussein said the terror groups should be prosecuted for their seditious messages.
“Trying to undermine or remove Government by unconstitutional means is a crime,” he said.
“You can threaten someone at a rally that at elections, I will beat you. But you cannot threaten to use violence to remove that person. It’s a chargeable offence.”
Another legal expert Mr Tendai Toto said even if they had sense, the demonstrations had become irrelevant because of their violent nature.
“We denounce violent conduct and destruction of private and public infrastructure and damage to property belonging to innocent third parties,” he said.
“In the current circumstances of our country, it remains a major setback to count losses and putting up reconstruction and recovery of the damaged property. Stakeholders in these demonstrations should concentrate their messaging to recipient targets of their causes and justifications not unsuspecting innocent third parties.”
South Africa based political analyst Mr Tinashe Tiki said: “These opposition elements have had their days and I think it is high time the police deal with those sending them because they are accomplices also.
“What should also be commended as Zimbabweans who have remained resolute and realised that they are being taken for a ride by these looters. I do not see the looters having another field day because people now know their other side. That, they are champions in looting.”
Observers said the MDC-T hawks had resorted to civil disobedience because of irrelevance and donor fatigue.