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MDC-T Appeals for U.N, SADC Help as Zimbabwe Reaches Tipping Point

  • Gibbs Dube

Supporters of former prime minister and MDC founding president, Morgan Tsvangirai. (Photo: MDC website)

Supporters of former prime minister and MDC founding president, Morgan Tsvangirai. (Photo: MDC website)

The Movement for Democratic Change led by Morgan Tsvangirai says the United Nations, Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union should intervene in Zimbabwe following the brutalization of hundreds of protesters in various cities and towns by suspected state security agents and suspected Zanu PF activists during nationwide peaceful marches calling for the reformation of the electoral system.

In a statement, Tsvangirai’s MDC-T said President Robert Mugabe’s government has declared a deface state of emergency in the country where political parties under the umbrella of the National Electoral Reform Agenda on Saturday staged protests in almost all parts of the nation demanding sweeping electoral reforms ahead of the 2018 elections.

“The MDC, once again, calls upon SADC, the AU and even the United Nations, to urgently place Zimbabwe back on the agenda. The prevailing security and political situation in the country is untenable, particularly considering the fact that (Mr.) Mugabe himself recently threatened to unleash terror and brutality on all leading opposition politicians such as MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai.

“(Mr.) Mugabe is smelling blood. He is spoiling for a fight. In these circumstances, therefore, Zimbabwe could quickly slide into anarchy and state - sponsored banditry and terrorism if SADC, the AU and the UN do not promptly intervene to find a lasting and sustainable solution to the long - standing Zimbabwean political and socio - economic crisis.”

The MDC-T said the toiling masses of Zimbabwe are crying out to be heard by both the regional and the international community. (President) Robert Mugabe and his rogue, politically delinquent and paranoid Zanu PF regime shouldn't be allowed to continue holding Zimbabweans to ransom.”

Mr. Mugabe recently warned that his government won’t tolerate any protests against his rule saying state security agents were ready to crush protesters, who are urging the 92-year old president to step down for allegedly failing to properly run Zimbabwe.

Pastor Evan Mawarire’s #thisflag movement, Tajamuka-Sesijikile Campaign, #thisgown and several other civic society groups have staged peaceful protests demanding that the Zanu PF government should address serious social and economic problems facing the nation.

In turn, state security agents have turned on the heat on protesters resulting in the arrest of scores of people, including on Saturday when some MDC-T lawmakers and other peaceful marchers in Harare, Chinhoyi, Kadoma, Gweru, Gwanda, Gutu and other places were beaten up and arrested by the police.

According to the MDC-T, some of the people allegedly victimizing protesters are Zanu PF youth that have of late been threatening to take the law into their own hands saying the police are treating them with kid gloves.

The youth asked for permission from President Mugabe to be embedded with the police and other state security agents. It is not clear whether this was given the green light by the president and his ruling party.

Party spokesman Simon Khaya Moyo was not reachable for comment.

The MDC-T believes that Zanu PF youth are part of the state machinery brutalizing protesters.

“The MDC has established irrefutable evidence to the effect that thousands of Zanu PF thugs and hoodlums, employed as so - called youth officers throughout the country, are actually being given ZRP uniforms so that they can masquerade as duly attested members of the police force. Thus, we would like to call upon the Commissioner - General of police, Augustine Chihuri, to come out in the open and publicly dissociate the legitimate members of the ZRP from these marauding Zanu PF thugs and hooligans.

“Throughout the length and breadth of the country, armed police officers and hundreds of Zanu PF thugs and hooligans were deployed specifically to harass, intimidate and assault people who were peacefully engaged in public demonstrations demanding the adoption of electoral reforms, amongst other key demands from the toiling masses of Zimbabwe.”
The opposition party said the government has declared a defacto state of emergency. Police were not reachable for comment.

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