Zimbabwe’s opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) led by former Finance Minister Tendai Biti says the alleged cruelty shown by heavily armed police officers on Saturday in repressing peaceful demonstrations that took place in most parts of the country shows that the nation is now a fully-fledged fascist state.
In a statement, PDP said it was regrettable that Zimbabwean police resorted to using excessive force against citizens in most parts of the country who are fed up of Zanu PF’s misrule and displayed that anger on the streets.
“However, their peaceful protests were met with brute force by a callous police force that used live bullets to disperse the law abiding demonstrators. Some areas were turned into war zones as police shot at the demonstrators. The army and Zanu PF youth militia were roped in by the police to provide backup.
“Scores were injured and illegally arrested in the process. Picture and video images coming out from various media platforms show seriously injured citizens. These citizens, who were denied medical attention after spending two nights in police custody, were visibly in pain.”
The party further said, “It is, therefore, regrettable that the police have resorted to the use of terror tactics once exhibited during the Rhodesian era in order to protect a rogue Zanu PF regime. It is now clear that the Zanu PF dictatorship has turned the country into a fascist state.”
Police have denied that they used live ammunition to stop the protests.
But PDP stressed that indications are that the state security agents fired bullets at protesters in Harare. “As the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), we strongly condemn this use of brute force or any form of violence by the police or other state and non-state actors against peaceful citizens who are using their democratic rights to demonstrate.
“Saturday’s events show that the Zanu PF regime only believes in the use of violence against the people raising genuine issues that they have no jobs and are pleading with the Government to resolve these issues as a matter of urgency. It is also regrettable that Zanu PF has considered turning Zimbabwe into a country that is dominated by violence, coercion and fear.”
PDP said Zimbabwe should be placed under a National Transitional Authority (NTA) “as Zanu PF has failed dismally to run this country and has shown an innate inability to reform.
“Without an NTA, there will be an implosion in the country, a situation that the people of Zimbabwe are not ready for. The people of Zimbabwe must not wait for the total collapse of this country before an NTA is put in place. It is time for the citizens should demand an NTA now.”