MDC-T Statement on Mnangagwa’s terrorist threats on Biti

\r\n

Mnangagwa threatened Hon Biti during the Council of Ministers last week. Zimbabwean securocrats have openly declared their allegiance to Zanu PF and their threats to confront Minister Biti is nothing but political. In recent days, those who have acted contrary to the laws of the land which stipulate that security forces should be apolitical include Douglas Nyikayaramba, Martin Chedondo and Trust Mugova, all major generals in the army.

\r\n

Mnangagwa’s comments are also in sync with the violent nature of Zanu PF and serves no purpose other than inciting violence against the minister. In the past, we have witnessed human rights violations perpetrated on members of the MDC, civic society and ordinary people by the former ruling party with the aid of State security agents. This is more pronounced as the nation prepares for elections. This must stop.

\r\n

The statement by the Defence minister is in bad taste as it comes barely two weeks after the murder of Cephas Magura, MDC Mudzi North chairman by Zanu PF thugs. The country has already started recording an increase in cases of politically-motivated violence and we must rely on the likes of Mnangagwa, as senior a government official to denounce unruly behavior.

\r\n

Human rights violations should never be tolerated in a civilized society, more so when they are perpetrated on civilians by soldiers. Therefore, intimidation of any member of the society by soldiers should be strongly condemned.

\r\n

Mnangagwa’s utterances disregard the call by the United Nations Human Rights Commissioner, Navanethem Pillay to end violations when she visited the country last month. The UN envoy’s statement was supported by SADC at the just-ended summit when the regional body directed that violence be stemmed before elections are held in the country so as to, among other things guarantee the secrecy of the voter as well as the security of the vote and voter.

\r\n

Minister Biti is on record saying he will increase civil servants’ salaries if diamond revenue improves. Threats will not produce the money from Hon Biti as there is no such money in the Treasury.

\r\n

In his March 2012 report, Minister Biti revealed that the Ministry of Finance is yet to receive a cent from Zimbabwe’s largest diamond mining company. But for Mnangagwa to demand $2,5 million for the employment of 5000 more soldiers at a time the majority of those who are already in service are getting less than the poverty datum line is irresponsible.

\r\n

Mnangagwa should know better where money from Anjin is going as the mining giant is staffed by former security personnel of all ranks. There are even fears that proceeds from Anjin’s activities in Chiadzwa are being used to finance a parallel government in the country.

\r\n

We urge Mnangagwa and all securocrats to respect Hon Biti and his office. Failure to do so means that they are failing to recognize the Global Political Agreement signed by the three principals which resulted in Minister Biti and others occupying their offices. The Defence minister must know that there are other means of solving challenges other than by threats and intimidation.

\r\n

The MDC is a people-driven party which takes Zimbabweans’ interest seriously and would do everything possible to make sure that the lives of civil servants and ordinary citizens improve.

\r\n