Zimbabwe: MDC Vows to Defy Police, Hold Unsanctioned Demos

MDC leader Nelson Chamisa.
28 January 2020

The MDC will no longer seek police clearance to hold demonstrations, party Organising Secretary Amos Chibaya has vowed, in what could trigger a showdown between the main opposition party and the State.

Last week, MDC President Nelson Chamisa announced the party was planning to hold massive demonstrations across the country.

At the weekend, Chibaya said as a party, the MDC would take to the streets to register their displeasure over the worsening economic situation in the country.

Chibaya was addressing party supporters at the 2018 poll victory celebrations for MDC's Mbizo legislator Settlement Chikwinya in Kwekwe.

"We are going to populate the streets so as to register our discontent. We are going to demonstrate against the economic rot whether (President Emmerson) Mnangagwa likes it or not. People are suffering and they have suffered for a very long time. We cannot continue to watch the situation," he said.

"People are not allowed to assemble and express themselves. Going forward we are not going to seek permission, we are just going to take to the streets."

The MDC has been up in arms with police for banning party demonstrations, arguing it was their constitutional right to stage peaceful marches.

Chibaya also claimed the machete gangs known as Mashurugwi were a well orchestrated plan by known Zanu PF bigwigs to instil fear in the citizens ahead of national elections.

He said the MDC would soon protect the citizens against the marauding armed gangs.

"We are not going to allow that to continue, we are going to defend our parents from these machete gangs," Chibaya said.

"It is a well known secret on who is behind machete gangs in this country. We are fully aware of Zanu PF tactics. Bigwigs in that party are the ones who are behind machete gangs. We know they are using these machete gangs to instil fear in the citizens. They want to capitalise on that fear come election time," Chibaya said.

The machetes have also been used in the mines to settle disputes and the fights have often times spilled into local communities leaving a lot of people dead or seriously injured.

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