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Mnangagwa's govt in panic mode

by Staff reporter
30 Apr 2019 at 02:25hrs | Views
Government issued a chilling warning yesterday, saying it will not allow swelling public anger over the dying economy to grow into anti-government protests, in what betrays the uneasiness in the corridors of power.

Home affairs minister Cain Mathema claimed yesterday that authorities have caught wind of a plot by Zimbabwe's civil society.

Mathema said some foreign forces are plotting violent demonstrations in a bid to overthrow the Government but the police are ready to deal with the perpetrators in terms of the law.

Addressing a Press Conference in Harare, Minister Mathema said intelligence had revealed that a workshop to mobilise and capacitate civic organisations had already been scheduled for an undisclosed date next month in Bulawayo.

"It is disturbing to note that the ZRP and other security services have gathered intelligence to the effect that a group of foreign nationals want to facilitate a three-day civic organisation workshop in Bulawayo in May 2019.

"The main agenda of the workshop is to mobilise and capacitate civic organisations and individuals to stage purported effective demonstrations and disturbances to overthrow the Zanu-PF Government," he said.

Minister Mathema warned the people of Zimbabwe against joining the planned violent demonstrations saying the long arm of the law would catch up with them. The Minister said the police were on high alert and measurers have already been put in place to thwart the illegal plans.

"My ministry has since directed the Commissioner-General of Police to put in place adequate security measures. The police will thwart any civil disobedience or violent machinations by individuals, political parties and civic organisations under the guise of freedom of assembly and other hidden activities," he said.

Government has urged people to ignore any demonstration calls.

"Members of the public are accordingly advised to ignore any incitement to violence or participate in unsanctioned gatherings that may cause instability in the country. Any acts of lawlessness should be reported to the nearest police station so that the law is applied without fear or favour," said Minister Mathema.

Zimbabwe, the Minister said, does not need any lecture on democracy and freedom of assembly from foreign Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs). Minister Mathema said intelligence also showed that there were plans to intensify the demonstrations after the MDC Alliance's congress next month.

"My ministry is also aware that there are plans to intensify violent demonstrations in the country after the forthcoming MDC Alliance congress under the guise that there is economic collapse in Zimbabwe."

Minister Mathema assured Zimbabweans and foreigners visiting the country or those doing business that their security was guaranteed.

"We have the names of the organisations and the names of the people who want to organise the demonstrations. At an opportune time, we will share their names," he said. Price increases and other economic challenges facing the country, Minister Mathema said, were being caused by the MDC Alliance.

"It must be known that those economic challenges facing the country were brought about by the MDC. The sanctions were brought about by the MDC Alliance, so it is laughable that we should be accused, as Government, of causing the economic challenges.

"We do not want price increases at all and the Government will do all it can to ensure prices stabilise," he said.

Zanu-PF recently said it was worried by the wave of price increases in the country and called for urgent measures to be taken to address the situation while denying responsibility for the prevailing situation.

"We are totally opposed to this wave of price increases and for whatever reason, the party is against it. It is affecting the generality of our people and we have actually pointed out this to government and they seem to be also opposed to these unwarranted increases," the party's secretary for administration Obert Mpofu said.

Zimbabwe is currently experiencing regular price increases, particularly for basic goods, with opposition parties and analysts blaming government for failing to contain the situation.

"I am sure government is doing something about it. Something drastic needs to be done to stop this. It is not helping us at all. Whatever the reasons could be, it is unacceptable.

"We are the ruling party and the party is not condoning this. This is really against all party objectives and principles and I know government is against it as well," he said, adding that the effects would be dire, especially for the majority who earn meagre wages.

Mpofu said they were currently studying the trends with a view to coming up with a party position.

The former Home Affairs minister charged that businesses must explain the cost drivers because some expenses, such as electricity and other ingredients, have remained constant.

Asked why the government, which the ruling party has dominated over the past 39 years, has failed to bring about an enabling environment, Mpofu said the fact that they are speaking means that they are not happy with the situation.

He said if their calls were not heeded, then measures would follow.

"This is Zanu-PF speaking and we are against these price increases. It is not the government that is increasing prices, it is individuals for whatever reasons. We are saying as a ruling party, these are unjustified and unacceptable," Mpofu said.

"If what we are saying is not listened to, then we will let you know of what measures we are going to take to ensure that people in the market place are responsive to people's needs.

"We are going to go by what people want and I am sure government is doing its best to contain this wave of price increases."

Source - dailynews-the herald-newsday
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