By Mlondolozi Ndlovu
Harare, July 29, 2016 – OPPOSITION political parties in Zimbabwe have blasted President Robert Mugabe’s recent attacks on ant-government protesters saying the veteran leader had virtually turned the country into his own private property in clear violation of the country’s constitution.
Speaking to Zanu PF supporters at the party headquarters this week, President Mugabe said the police should descend heavily on protesters and throw them behind bars.
Mugabe’s utterances have been roundly condemned by many Zimbabweans, with NGOs and the opposition taking the lead.
Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe (RDZ) leader Elton Mangoma said President Mugabe should remember that the right to demonstrate was guaranteed by the constitution.
“It is clearly not acceptable. The constitution gives people the right to demonstrate. If we accept that, we will all be totally to blame. Who is he (President Mugabe)?
“We are all Zimbabweans and this country is for all of us. We will not allow him to be intimidating anyone,” he said.
Gilbert Dzikiti of the Democratic Assembly for Restoration and Assembly (DARE) said President Mugabe’s utterances were treasonous and he should be charged for violating the constitution
“His statements are treasonous; he is in violation of the constitution and he has shown that Zimbabwe is his personal property, ordering the police to be violating the constitution.
“It answers that there is an unconstitutional narrative within Zanu PF saying that any dissent must be crushed,” he said.
Dzikiti said the country risked being on the verge of collapse adding that SADC and the AU should intervene.
“The SADC Troika organ on politics should be concerned with this. We have videos of police beating up people and a child died in Bulawayo. We call upon Amnesty International to rebuke Zimbabwe,” said Dzikiti
Mavambo/Kusile leader Simba Makoni, who is also former SADC Executive secretary, said Mugabe’s utterances were capable of causing violence in the country although only opposition demonstrators would be arrested.
“If he is saying the police must arrest protesters, he is talking of a different set of demonstrators. If Chipanga (Kudzi, Zanu PF youth league deputy secretary) and the demonstrators would be beating up people, the police wont arrest them but rather the peaceful ones. It shows that Mugabe is a dictator,” said Makoni.