Masarira speaks on MDCA training

Farirai Machivenyika and Rejoy Masengedzero
MDC Alliance youths received training in Zambia and South Africa to rise against the Government in the event that they lost the July 30 harmonised elections, the Commission of Inquiry into the violence that rocked Harare on August 1 heard yesterday.

Six people died following the violent demonstrations while property worth hundreds of thousands of dollars was destroyed.

Presenting her evidence to the Commission, Ms Linda Masarira, the spokesperson of the MDC-T led by Ms Thokozani Khupe, also accused the MDC Alliance leadership of inciting their supporters to engage in violence in the run- up to the elections.

“It would be naive for anyone to think that the MDC Alliance do not have a radical and militant youth who trained under the civil society banner which are stakeholders of the MDC Alliance,” She said.

“I can speak with confidence and evidence that there are two groups who were trained to lead protests though it is said that were trained to uprise in a non-violent manner which is contrary to the actions that prevailed on August 1.

“The MDC Alliance believes the Government can be persuaded to a Government of National Unity or to accede to certain demands from the illegal demonstrations that they did coupled with the ongoing demonisation of Zimbabwe.

“We have an opposition that believes in hate speech and insults, terrorising of women and the suffering of the masses to woo protest votes.”

Ms Masarira urged the Commission not to be hoodwinked by the eloquence of the party’s leadership.

“MDC Alliance is a party full of highly intolerant people, who think they are the alpha and omega of Zimbabwe politics,” Ms Masarira said.

“The eloquence of their leaders in preaching peace is not practised. It is hypocrisy. It is unfortunate that we live in an era where the name of God is taken in vain and there is no instant justice. People dare to lie under oath professionally misrepresenting themselves but the truth cannot be hidden.”

Earlier, Zanu-PF Secretary for Administration Cde Obert Mpofu, who also appeared before the Commission, said it was clear that the violent demonstrations had been planned.

“I feel that from a well-informed view that there were snipers that had been planted around Harare and some buildings.

“Somebody created a scene and directed that there be some firing to paint Government in bad light,” Cde Mpofu said.

He said he observed the protestors from his office at the Zanu-PF Headquarters chanting MDC Alliance slogans with some wearing the party’s regalia. The demonstration had its source, the way the people gathered points to logistical support. These people were not marching from nowhere they were coming from the party’s (MDC Alliance) headquarters.”

Cde Mpofu, who was then the Home Affairs Minister, said he had called Mr Chamisa urging him to contain his supporters to no avail.

“I have a recording of the phone conversation I had with him (Mr Chamisa). He said minister let me look into it and I will come back to you but he never came back (to me),” Cde Mpofu said.

He added that the utterances by the MDC Alliance leaders before the elections were meant to incite their supporters to tarnish the country’s electoral processes.

The Commission is being chaired by former South African president Mr Kgalema Motlanthe and its report will be made public.