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Opinion / Columnist

Zanu-PF intolerance fuels tension

15 Jun 2019 at 09:06hrs | Views
THREATS by Zanu-PF youth leaders to counter the opposition and civic groups' planned anti-government protests are a clear indication of the ruling party's intolerance of multi-party democracy and human rights as enshrined in the country's Constitution, which allows for peaceful and lawful demonstrations.

It is quite clear that the Zanu-PF apparatchiks want to perpetuate a culture of intolerance that was entrenched during the time of former President Robert Mugabe. Sadly, this culture has continued under President Emmerson Mnangagwa's so-called "new dispensation" despite his pretence that he was pushing a new, democratic Second Republic.

Just like Zanu-PF members are free to protest or carry out peaceful demonstrations for any reason, if they so choose, the opposition should also be allowed to do the same in pursuit of the enjoyment of the same rights.

Threats issued by these misguided youth — the majority of who have nothing to show for their support of Zanu-PF, given the high rate of unemployment and lack of opportunities for school leavers — demonstrate their lack of understanding of how multi-party democracies should function.

We would have hoped that Zanu-PF youth leader, Pupurai Togarepi at the prime age of 55, would restrain the overzealous youths he leads. It appears he is determined to unleash the misguided elements on the people to safeguard his position.

It is strange that the ruling party believes people are incapable of thinking for themselves or making decisions based on their experiences, as they always link any call for demonstrations to sinister plots and hidden hands fighting Mnangagwa's leadership. People have continued to suffer even under ED's stewardship of the economy, which continues in a tailspin, primarily because of his reluctance to deal with graft and incompetence within his government.

It is such reckless utterances by the indiscreet Zanu-PF youth that continue to ensure that Zimbabwe remains a pariah State, with no significant investment coming in. Since ED took over as President, he has proven incapable of dealing with the myriad of challenges facing the country. Clearly, every citizen has a right to demonstrate peacefully against such incompetence and governance failure.

Since coming to the helm, ED has proven his intolerance to opposing views, given how the security forces have high-handedly crushed demonstrations, including the use of live ammunition against protesters.

It would have been laughable, if it was not sad and tragic, that the government would think opposition political parties and civil society are plotting to overthrow it when it is only its own gross failures that are threatening its demise.

If they deal with the problems bedevilling the country as they promised during their election campaigns, then there would be absolutely no need for anyone to go into the streets.

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Source - newsday
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