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Chamisa must stop inciting violence

21 Feb 2020 at 05:30hrs | Views
After almost a year of rejecting broad-based dialogue preferring exclusive discussions with Zanu-PF, MDC Alliance has shockingly claimed its efforts for talks have failed and now seeks violent confrontation with the Government.

MDC Alliance leader, Mr Nelson Chamisa, said this at a Press conference in Harare on Wednesday.  Speaking boastfully, he claimed to be "under pressure" from "millions" of people eager to go on the streets "to defend their rights" and gain "them freedom".

"Now we are drawing the line in the sand," he said, "even in the party I have told them, we will not continue on this path of talking about dialogue. We must be able to resolve this issue once and for all and you will see more of the people taking to the streets, you will see more people acting now more than ever before."

There is nothing really surprising in the bombast for he and fellow MDC Alliance leaders are known to speak like men of ultimate authority, with the unquestionable support of a majority in the country.

He has been speaking like that since he lost the presidential election in 2018 and rejected the result. We, however, once again, condemn his incendiary rhetoric which might incite some gullible opposition activists to commit violence. It has to be noted that his media conference coincided with a small, illegal demonstration in central Harare.  

We, too, note that some in his party have been threatening to overthrow the Government.  

Illegal street demonstrations, chaos and violent crime are meant to achieve that objective.  

Mr Chamisa must be told that violence, radicalism and disruptive conduct that he threatened on Wednesday has no place in our country. He must admit that he lost the election and instead of wasting his time on the past, should be preparing to take another chance in the next three years. Also, if he is serious about engaging in dialogue to address the challenges in the country, he must join other political leaders in the Political Actors' Dialogue. That must be the starting point — to tell MDC Alliance leader to stop inciting violence.

Secondly, we urge our people to refuse to be used by a man who clearly lost the election and later had his petition challenging the outcome of that election being dismissed by the Constitutional Court after he failed to provide any evidence to prove his point.

Our people must continue upholding the peace that they are known for.  They must continue working for their families, for their country for their household wellbeing and national development.  

We admit that the economic challenges are affecting everyone.  Prices of goods and services are high, wages are not catching up.  

A few products are in short supply.  The opposition is trying to capitalize on these challenges to do some mischief but the Government is doing a lot to address the challenges and results are beginning to show.  Citizens need to appreciate that the economy will not recover overnight.  It is a process that demands patience, hard work and unity.

The economy is projected to recover and grow this year.  We are seeing new, big investment projects coming up.  Inflation is falling.  The rains that have been falling across the country in recent weeks should avert what we thought was yet another drought to hit the country, negatively affecting our agro-based economy.

Thirdly, and this message goes to those who might allow themselves to be used, such people must know that there is no reward for crime.  

If they heed Mr Chamisa's call for illegal activity, they must be ready to face the full might of the law and the full extent of the machinery that is designed to enforce it.   

In January last year, some opposition activists were incited into burning and looting businesses in Harare, Chitungwiza, Bulawayo and a few other towns.  They only had themselves to blame after 1 000 or so of them were arrested, most of them being later jailed for long periods.  

They are languishing in prison yet the politicians who incited them are out, enjoying their lives.  That is why we urge our people to refuse to be used as it is only they who will face the consequences.  

Fourthly, we implore law enforcement agencies to be ready to tackle any disruptive activity the opposition might attempt to mount.  Yes, the response to the arson and looting in January last year appeared to be a little slow but we don't see the activists repeating the same disorder and violence this time.  

That experience has, in our view, made law enforcement agencies more vigilant to snuff out any illegal, violent protests.

Source - chronicle
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