By Paul Nyathi|MDC national organising secretary Amos Chibaya has rubbished government claims that the opposition party was behind the current protests sparked by last week’s steep fuel price hikes.
“Here in Gweru, I saw very senior Zanu PF officials and activists protesting as well. I am the organising secretary of MDC and all programmes come from my office. I never sanctioned these protests at all; that is why I am here at home. Our own programmes will come,” Chibaya said.
“The government must simply listen to the message being delivered to it by its people instead of laying blame on the MDC. We are saddened by the people who have already been shot and killed by the State security agents. The regime has been cornered. It’s a complete humiliation for the so-called new republic.
“The MDC is a peaceful party, that is why no retribution on people who have stolen elections has been witnessed. No matter how far and extreme the party has been stretched, it has remained calm. We never instructed our supporters to be violent at all. However, the citizens are just angry with the failed regime.”
Government yesterday said the MDC-Alliance and its aalleged allies were liable to claims by members of the public whose property was lost during the protests.
Three people, including a police officer, also lost their lives in the protests after police and tge army used live ammunition to deal with the protests.
Minister of State for National Security Owen Ncube said people whose property was destroyed and goods looted should quantify damages and report to the nearest police stations.
So far police have arrested 600 people in connection with the riots, with 214 having appeared in court already.
“Government places responsibility for compensation for victims of the violence, destruction of property, injury and loss of life on the MDC-Alliance and all its associates,” Minister Ncube said.
“Government wishes to advise all those who were affected that Zimbabwe law allows them to seek redress from perpetrators and organisers. We therefore urge all whose property was destroyed, goods looted to quantify the damages incurred and report to nearest police stations. This should serve as a lesson to all those who are bent on causing chaos and mayhem in the country, that your actions will not go unpunished. You are liable to pay compensation to the affected people.”
Chibaya said he did not activate the so-called Vanguard or the Democratic Resistance Committee as claimed by State security minister Owen Ncube.
“I am not aware of any co-ordination for these protests. What is clear is the long-suffering of Zimbabweans. President (Emmerson) Mnangagwa must address the burning nation and end his shameless globetrotting,” he said.
Zanu PF Midlands provincial spokesperson Cornelius Mpereri said: “Those reports that our members of Zanu PF took part in the protests are all hogwash.”