HARARE – Zimbabwe’s government has accused the opposition Movement for Democratic Change Alliance for the outbreak of violence in the country, following a call by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions for a complete shutdown of businesses and work.
Addressing journalists at a news conference Tuesday, Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the shutdown and the ensuing outbreak of violence which has claimed lives, is the work of the opposition, though the leader of the MDC party Nelson Chamisa and his party members have remained largely silent on the call to by the ZCTU and others, to shutdown the government.
“Pursuant to this nefarious agenda, the MDC Alliance activated its notorious terror groups, which include the so-called Democratic Resistance Committee and para-military vanguard,” said Mutsvangwa.
Mutsvangwa, who accuses the opposition and organizers of the shutdown of attempting to overthrow the government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, warned that such a move would have consequences.
“Threats to overthrow a constitutionally-elected government by force and install an unelected person as president of Zimbabwe will be thwarted – it won’t work.”
The shutdown, called in reaction to increased prices in fuel and shortage of basics including cash and food, coincides with President Mnangagwa’s trip to various countries in Eastern Europe, including Russia, and also Switzerland for the World Economic Forum in Davos. Mutsvanga said the shutdown and the violence that has erupted between members of the security forces and citizens, was aimed to bring unnecessary attention to the country.
“The timing of these events is instructive in two ways, they come against the background where his Excellency the President ED (Emmerson) Mnangagwa is out of the country. And two, they are intended to undermine … the ongoing re-engagement efforts of the president to market Zimbabwe at high level forums such as at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland,” Mutsvangwa said.
President Mnangagwa has declared that Zimbabwe is open for business and has pushed for Zimbabwe’s readmission into the international community, which has imposed sanctions on the country due to allegations of human rights violations and lack of rule of law.
The opposition has denied any involvement in the shutdown, but has challenged Mnangagwa’s legitimacy following his July 30th election victory, which was decided by the Constitutional Court.