Joseph Madzimure and Victor Maphosa
President Mnangagwa yesterday warned that security forces “will be vigilant and on high alert” to deal with any attempts to destabilise the constitutionally-elected Government or create a public health disaster by mass breaching of the lockdown.
This comes as some opposition parties led by the violent MDC Alliance, some churches and some civic society groups have been burning the midnight oil to plan unrest and regime change under the veil of protesting against corruption.
Several opposition parties have already condemned the planned demonstrations and some within the strife-torn opposition have since jumped ship and exposed a foreign hand that is sponsoring organisers of the planned demonstration.
However, while addressing the 342 Zanu PF Politburo session yesterday, party First Secretary President Mnangagwa said the planned insurrection, which can be linked to past schemes to destabilise the nation, such as the January 2019 protests and the August 2018 post-election violence, will not be allowed to happen this time around.
He said with the country set to remember its sons and daughters who paid the ultimate price to free Zimbabwe and bring about the obtaining peace, Zanu PF was emboldened and inspired by the upcoming Heroes Day commemorations due in August and will defend the prevailing peace.
“We will equally defend our independence and sovereignty to the letter and not betray the fallen heroes and heroines who paid the supreme sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy today. I want to warn the organisers of this ill-fated demonstration that our security services will be vigilant and on high alert to appropriately respond to their shenanigans.
“I urge all patriotic and law-abiding citizens to shun these malcontents and reject their divisive and ruinous plan,” he said.
He further said the Politburo meeting was being held against the backdrop of multiple threats to democracy, constitutionalism, rule of law, independence and nationhood from terrorist organisations that masquerade as opposition parties and activists.
“It must never be in doubt that the objective of these rogue Zimbabweans acting in cahoots with foreign appendages, supporters, and financiers, is to stage an insurrection to overthrow our democratically elected Government.”
Furthermore, President Mnangagwa said in view of the Covid-19 pandemic, their planned July 31 demonstration is a threat to the safety and security of the people and the people’s right to life.
So far Covid-19 cases in Zimbabwe are spiking with 2 879 positive cases and 41 deaths by yesterday evening. To curb the spread of the global pandemic the country is presently observing a lockdown and restrictions that limit people’s movements.
Under the regulations to curb the spread of the pandemic, public gatherings of more than 50 people are outlawed, wearing a face mask is compulsory and a dusk to dawn curfew is being observed.
Notwithstanding the country’s opposition parties’ insatiable appetite for violence, the President commended the party leadership and respective departments for the visibility and clarity with which the party is articulating its policies and position.
He assured Zimbabweans that the Government will continue to act in the public’s best interest at all times.
“All sectors of our economy are accelerating the implementation of programmes to improve the livelihoods of our people as we gear towards the achievement of an upper middle income economy by 2030. In particular, the Agriculture Recovery Plan is now underway. The inputs for the 2020/2021 agriculture season have been sourced and will be delivered timely. In the mining sector, I recently toured Hwange District to appreciate the projects under way in that area. These will have a far reaching impact on our economy and will see us achieving energy self-sufficiency by 2023. It is envisaged that the projects will result in our country being a net exporter of energy. The chrome, iron and steel, fertiliser and tourism industries are also set to benefit,” he said
He also commended the party structures in Hwange District and the traditional leaders for their understanding on the importance of the projects
Meanwhile, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe said the planned July 31 demonstration is illegal and assured the public to go about their daily business as usual.
While addressing members of the media yesterday, Minister Kazembe said history is replete with sad tales of how opposition-orchestrated demonstrations degenerate into chaos.
“Government wishes to let the people of Zimbabwe know that the intended reckless ‘demonstrations’ of July 31, 2020 are banned and that the people should continue to enjoy their peace and security on the day.
“Anyone who disregards this warning and proceeds to join the planned insurrection to steal power will be met by the full wrath of the law,” Min Kazembe said.
He said the Government is primed to prevail over any entity or individuals that threaten its constitutional mandate of protecting the will and security of the people.
Minister Kazembe said the planned demonstrations have already shown signs of violence, just like any demonstrations organised and funded by the opposition.
“Experience has shown that demonstrations organised by the opposition and their Western handlers have consistently and by design degenerated into violence thereby occasioning loss of life, injury to people, destruction of and or damage to property among other ills.
“The planned purported demonstrations of July 31 2020 have already exhibited ingredients of violence.”
He said tomorrow’s demonstrations are not about corruption but aimed at removing the constitutionally elected Government from power.
“The July 31 planned insurrection masquerading under misleading hashtag themes such as Peoplepower, Shutdown Zimbabwe, CorruptionMustGo are in actual fact an attempt to reverse the outcome of July 31, 2018 harmonised elections as shown by the real main hashtags: ZANUPFMustGo and EDMustFall,” he said.
“Clearly this is a criminal enterprise whose true intention has nothing to do with various innocuous problems in the country but to further the opposition’s long-held wish to come to power through the overthrow of a legitimately elected Government.
“Therefore Government rejects that July 31 is about anti-corruption or about some other well-meant intention. July 31 is a planned insurrection and a naked illegal and unconstitutional attempt to seize power. It is about the MDC Alliance attempting to violently overturn the people’s verdict of July 31, 2018.”
He said the embattled MDC Alliance deploys most of its energy daily in creating fake news meant to sow disunity in Government’s top leadership, particularly the Presidium and also to encourage mutiny in the Security Services.
Min Kazembe said the opposition will get a rude awakening tomorrow when they will learn that the security services are solid in their purpose to preserve constitutionalism.
“They will be disappointed to discover that there is no disunity in the Presidium and that the Security Services will descend upon any unlawful activity on July 31 and are solid in their purpose and resolve to preserve constitutionalism and democracy in Zimbabwe, something that the MDC Alliance is aiming to destroy.
He said if the opposition party is sincere about fighting corruption it should join the Government in that fight and they should also start by cleaning their own house.
“In a show of its usual forked tongue and double standards in its machinations to block Zimbabwe’s economic progress, a number of the MDC-A’s ring leaders implicated in corruption syndicates have not been brought under scrutiny. Corruption scandals, some of which stem from Biti’s tenure as Finance Minister in the inclusive Government and the alleged misappropriation of funds attributed to him are yet to be fully exposed. We are also very alive to rampant corruption activities in the MDC-A dominated municipal authorities which used land to corruptly enrich themselves yet it is now claimed that July 31 planned insurrection meant to overthrow the Government is about corruption.”