MDC Alliance and the politics of violence

The Chronicle

THREATS by the MDC Alliance at the weekend to topple a democratically elected Government confirms that they have been part of plots to unleash a wave of violence in the country for the purposes of brewing chaos and a breakdown of the rule of law.

Addressing party supporters in Bikita at a rally to drum up support for the plot, the party’s deputy chairperson Mr Job Sikhala said they wanted to overthrow President Mnangagwa.

“We are a committed leadership that will give Zanu PF headaches and [Amos] Chibaya was not lying or joking about the war and fight we are going to take to the doorsteps of Emmerson Mnangagwa. We are going to overthrow him before 2023 that is not a joke,” Mr Sikhala was quoted in the media as having said.

The threats come at the back of similar utterances by the party’s youth wing and failed attempts by the rogue Tajamuka outfit, an affiliate of the MDC Alliance, for people to engage in a weeklong stay away last week.

The antics of employing violence for political ends by the MDC Alliance is not a new one, but utterances by Mr Sikhala, a lawyer who knows very well the full implications of his statements, have taken things to alarming new levels.

For decades since its formation under its founding leader the late Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC through its various transitions to the MDC Alliance now has used violence as its number one ideology to try and derail the country from any progression towards the good of the citizenry.

While the Government is making efforts to turn around the country’s economy, the MDC Alliance has tried many tactics to throw spanners into the works because theirs is an existence that has for years depended on the crisis that the country had been going through.

The coming in of the Second Republic under President Mnangagwa changed the country’s political fabric that the opposition has found it hard to survive hence the gospel of insurgency they are now preaching.

On 24 June, the Government gazzetted Statutory Instrument 142 of 2019 ending the multi-currency system and making the Zimbabwe dollar the sole legal tender in the country and ending speculation in the economy that caused the suffering of ordinary Zimbabweans.

Stunned by the move, the opposition that had been criticising the Government for what it said was a failure to attend to the economy, became sudden advocates for the United States dollar which some of their leaders had long campaigned against.

Such is the confusing politics of the confused opposition.

It comes as no surprise that the MDC Alliance now wants to unleash an orgy of violence in an attempt to overthrow the Government; attempts that will be effectively dealt with as Zimbabwe is a constitutional democracy with no place for insurgents of any form.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Mr Nick Mangwana, responding to Mr Sikhala yesterday, emphasised that merchants of violence would be dealt with by relevant authorities.

“Government has noted with disgust insurgent rants from a member of the opposition threatening the legitimate public authorities in Zimbabwe.

The illegal undermining of a legitimate authority is a serious crime.

Trying to overthrow a government is subversive and Government will not hesitate to deploy the security institutions to constrain such abuse of democratic tenets and maintain the constitutional order,” said Mr Mangwana.

“Zimbabwe is a peaceful country and that peace is not accidental.

That status of a peaceful country will be maintained by ensuring those that threaten democracy and the liberal values adopted by the new dispensation are tried and if convicted, removed from society and put in places where they do not pose a threat to the rest of civilised society.

“Every country under the sun has places for miscreants and we would not hesitate to make use of them to protect democracy and constitutionalism values which are highly esteemed in the new dispensation.”

Mr Mangwana noted that the statements by Mr Sikhala were carefully calculated to provoke authorities when the Government continues to embark on its engagement and re-engagement drive.

“We do not rule out a deliberate effort to provoke the authorities into enforcing the laws so as to get negative international attention at a time when the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Hon SB Moyo, is meeting the British Foreign Minister, Jeremy Hunt, as well as the Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Baroness Scotland to advance Zimbabwe’s re-engagement and mainstreaming efforts,” he said.

“Whilst we will not hesitate to enforce the law, we will not be baited to a predictable default synonymous with the old dispensation.”

It is hypocrisy of the highest order for the MDC Alliance to opt for violence under the pretext of pursuing a “solution” for Zimbabwe while they have refused to be part of a platform created by the Government for political parties to engage and discuss issues for the development of Zimbabwe.

President Mnangagwa has on many occasions said that he is open to engagement but because the MDC Alliance has no meaningful contribution towards the development of the country, the party and its leadership has elected to shun his gesture in pursuit of the politics of chaos.

Therefore attempts to disturb peace in the country should be discouraged in the strongest form and just like the notorious Tajamuka was ignored recently, Zimbabweans should distance themselves from the destructive politics of the MDC Alliance.