MDC leader Nelson Chamisa has accused President Emmerson Mnangagwa of being the godfather of machete wielding gangs that continue to terrorise villagers in parts of the country.
He was addressing party supporters Tuesday during his State of the Nation Address (SONA) at Stodart Grounds, in Harare's old suburb of Mbare.
Chamisa said Mnangagwa's silence on the gangs was testimony he and his Zanu PF party had a hand in the violent episodes that have rocked the country with the latest being the so-called Mashurugwi menace.
"Tikaona musha wapera, toziva kuti ane chikwambo ndiye akanyarara (We should be suspicious of a leader who remains quiet in such a situation)," Chamisa said in apparent reference to Mnangagwa.
"If we don't stand up together as a people to defend ourselves, we will go the Rwandan way. We have a soft genocide taking place."
Chamisa was referring to the 1994 Rwandan genocide in which over 800 000 were massacred.
"I have listened to our colleagues in Zanu PF at a high level, nobody; none of them has condemned the crisis we have in the country of organised, commanded, initiated from the top, violence, which is challenging the security of persons."
Chamisa is not the first politician to accuse Zanu PF of being sponsor of machete wielding gangs.
Former cabinet minister Jonathan Moyo recently claimed Mnangagwa was implicated in a 2017 police investigation into machete wars in Kwekwe's gold fields.
Norton MP Temba Mliswa has also linked some top Zanu PF and government officials to the violence.
Mnangagwa is yet to make a strong declaration he and his government were against the machete gangs which are responsible for murder, rape, torture and assault on innocent villagers.