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Mnangagwa's govt frightened to the core, says Coltart

by Staff reporter
21 Aug 2019 at 08:32hrs | Views
Lawyer and MDC top politician David Coltart has taken a dig at President Emmerson Mnangagwa saying his use of brute force to crush dissent was a clear sign that his government is frightened by the new wave ever since the massive January protests, Mnangagwa has resorted to using massive force to threaten and crush dissent.

However, his stance has received widespread condemnation from the international community, including the United Nations, which described his actions as violations of human rights in the country.

Fearful authorities are intensifying their crackdown against the opposition, with police arresting a number of MDC officials - in addition to banning anti-government protests that were slated for Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru and Mutare.

This comes as political analysts also warned that President Mnangagwa's efforts to end decades of Zimbabwe's international isolation are now in serious jeopardy following last Friday's savage attacks by heavily-armed police on peaceful protesters.

The analysts pointed to the "mismatch" between the rising State-sponsored violence and abductions targeting government critics and the escalation in Mnangagwa's re-engagement efforts with the United States, Britain and other major Western countries.

Police had rounded up several MDC leaders in Bulawayo, including the party's national chairperson Tabitha Khumalo - on seemingly tenuous allegations of mobilising opposition supporters for protests in the City of Kings.

This came hardly 24 hours after the government had been widely condemned nationally and internationally for Friday's brutal attacks by police on peaceful protesters.

All this notwithstanding, authorities once again moved to issue a prohibition order against the protests slated for Bulawayo.

The High Court in the country's second city also stopped indefinitely the planned demo, following an urgent application which was filed by a section of the business community - which claimed that it feared the destruction of its properties.

MDC vice president Tendai Biti said the government clampdown on the party betrayed "fear and desperation" by authorities.

"We have received the ban of the demonstration. It is just a desperate manifestation of a desperate regime that is running out of options. You cannot take away rights that are codified in the Constitution ... they are setting themselves up for an implosion," he said.

Source - additional reporting by Daily News