Vice Pres­i­dent Mphoko taunts protest lead­ers

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Mashudu Net­sianda

VICE Pres­i­dent Phelekezela Mphoko yes­ter­day blasted “spine­less” op­po­si­tion party lead­ers for covertly abus­ing youths to com­mit crim­i­nal acts un­der the cover of street protests.

His re­marks fol­low last week’s orgy of vi­o­lence in Harare un­leashed by op­po­si­tion par­ties un­der the ban­ner, Na­tional Elec­toral Re­form Agenda (Nera). The op­po­si­tion par­ties’ thugs also stoned po­lice of­fi­cers and de­flated a po­lice ve­hi­cle.

Vice Pres­i­dent Mphoko said the youths who are be­ing used by craven op­po­si­tion par­ties to com­mit acts of crim­i­nal­ity were mainly tar­get­ing the or­di­nary cit­i­zenry.

“At times peo­ple do unimag­in­able things un­der the cover of so-called peace­ful demon­stra­tions. Peo­ple who are mostly be­ing at­tacked by th­ese rowdy youths dur­ing th­ese vi­o­lent protests are or­di­nary men and women sell­ing toma­toes in the streets,” he said.

The Vice Pres­i­dent ques­tioned the ra­tio­nale be­hind shop loot­ings and acts of vi­o­lence, yet the or­gan­is­ers of the demon­stra­tions claimed the protests were peace­ful.

“They are say­ing th­ese are peace­ful demon­stra­tions, but they are busy bar­ri­cad­ing roads us­ing stones and burn­ing tyres. So how peace­ful is that when you go on to loot shops and steal al­co­holic bev­er­ages?” he asked.

Po­lit­i­cal lead­ers be­hind the vi­o­lent protests, he said, were cow­ards who had clearly run out of po­lit­i­cal sur­vival ideas.

“What is that? Is it pol­i­tics? In fact, that is day­light rob­bery and theft and who­ever is lead­ing th­ese protests should re-ex­am­ine him­self or her­self be­cause this is laugh­able. You can­not call that pol­i­tics, and I be­lieve a politi­cian should be a politi­cian. A real politi­cian deals with real po­lit­i­cal is­sues not crim­i­nal is­sues to sur­vive in pol­i­tics,” the Vice Pres­i­dent said.

Ac­cord­ing to week­end me­dia re­ports, the op­po­si­tion MDC-T be­gan plot­ting to desta­bilise the coun­try last month and had mem­bers of its youth wing trained in para­mil­i­tary tac­tics and ur­ban vi­o­lence out­side the coun­try.

In­for­ma­tion gath­ered sug­gests se­nior MDC-T fig­ures be­gan plot­ting when shad­owy el­e­ments, go­ing by the hash­tags “ta­ja­muka and th­is­flag” sparked civil dis­tur­bances in Harare, Bu­l­awayo and Beit­bridge, threat­en­ing to make the op­po­si­tion party a sideshow.

Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe, on Fri­day last week, blasted the coun­try’s de­trac­tors spon­sor­ing op­po­si­tion par­ties to un­leash vi­o­lence on peace-lov­ing Zim­bab­weans, and warned that the Gov­ern­ment will not tol­er­ate the “stupidly” or­gan­ised protests.

The Pres­i­dent called on Zim­bab­weans to re­main calm and united against anti-demo­cratic forces bent on re­vers­ing the eco­nomic for­tunes of the coun­try.

Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe also warned the em­bat­tled MDC-T leader Mr Mor­gan Ts­van­gi­rai against try­ing to un­seat a con­sti­tu­tion­ally elected Gov­ern­ment through vi­o­lence.— @mash­nets.

Vice Pres­i­dent Phelekezela Mphoko hands over day-old broiler chicks to Thuthukani Group rep­re­sen­ta­tive, Ms El­iz­a­beth Ncube, in Bu­l­awayo yes­ter­day

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