UN, SADC Urged to Avert Crisis in Zimbabwe

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AS the United Nations General Assembly 2016 got underway in New York this week, opposition parties called on the global body to intervene and isolate Zimbabwe accusing President Robert Mugabe’s government of declaring war on citizens.

The MDC-T led the appeal saying Mugabe was “smelling blood” and Zimbabwe was effectively under a “de-facto state of emergency” after some members in Harare vowed that they saw Zanu PF youths dressed in ZRP uniforms shooting at peaceful protestors.

About 80 people were arrested countrywide as police cracked down on protestors on Saturday, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said. While the police managed to block the march in Harare, elsewhere, people managed to demonstrate but were also bashed. According to the MDC-T spokesman, Obert Gutu, “even small cities and towns such as Masvingo, Chipinge, Gokwe,Chiredzi and Gutu – Mupandawana, were teeming with hundreds of armed Police officers and other security agents, specifically assigned to violently thwart the peaceful demonstrations that had been organized by the several opposition political parties under the national electoral reform agenda (NERA).”

Gutu said the UN, the African Union and the Sadc member states should move in swiftly because the brutal crackdown on peaceful marchers was testimony that Zimbabwe was on the “tipping point” and that the regime had become a “Frankestein monster” particularly coming soon after Mugabe vowed to crack crush demos.

“The MDC, once again, would like to call 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 Mugabe himself recently threatened to unleash terror and brutality on all leading opposition politicians such as MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai,” said the statement.

It added: “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 toiling masses of Zimbabwe are crying out to be heard by both the regional and the international community at large. Robert Mugabe and his rogue, politically delinquent and paranoid Zanu PF regime shouldn’t be allowed to continue holding Zimbabweans to ransom.”

“The beleaguered and faction – ridden Zanu PF regime has since gone completely rogue… .the collapsing regime, fronted by Robert Mugabe, proved to the entire world, beyond a shadow of doubt, that it has declared war against innocent and unarmed civilians… ,” said Gutu in a statement.

According to the MDC-T, MPs, political activists and ordinary protestors were “thuggishly rounded up and arrested and severely tortured” by what the party said were “Zanu PF thugs and hoodlums, employed as so – called youth officers throughout the country”. The MDC-T said the youths were in ZRP uniforms so that they could “masquerade as duly attested members of the Police force”.

“Throughout the length and breath 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,” said Gutu.

Other reports quoted police denying ever firing live bullets but senior party members insisted that that in “Kuwadzana, Dzivaresekwa, Mufakose, Epworth and Kambuzuma, live ammunition was fired from a truck which was being used by police and militia.” MDC-T secretary general Douglas Mwonzora said two people were shot.

People’s Democratic Party leader and former finance minister Tendai Biti was quoted saying “we are now in a very dangerous territory. We are entering a very sad, terrible, repressive stage”.

The MDC-T said as a result of the brutality, Zimbabwe was now under siege and the people were now “prisoners in their own country; held captive by a cruel, insensitive and rogue regime that is obsessed with the politics of power retention.”

The party called 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”.

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