Hwende rubbishes govt for attempt to link UK returnees to MDC

Chalton Hwende

HARARE – MDC Alliance has called for “sane reasoning” in government after a minister last week sensationally claimed the party was behind hotel demands made by 65 quarantined citizens returning from the United Kingdom.

Last week, 65 Zimbabweans returned from the UK and were offered accommodation at the Belvedere Teachers College as they went through the mandatory COVID-19 quarantine for everyone entering Zimbabwe as precautionary measures to halt the spread of the virus.

However, there was a stand-off between the returnees and government as the citizens declined to be accommodated at the training college citing dilapidated facilities.

This infuriated the government and Deputy Minister for Social Welfare Lovemore Matuke later claimed the returning residents were MDC Alliance activists who were working on the orders of their leaders to destabilise government’s COVID-19 operations in fighting the spread of the virus.

He also claimed that one UK-based Mary Nyandoro, who was part of a group of Zimbabweans that mobbed Foreign Minister Sibusiso Moyo in London last year, was part of the returning citizens.

However, it later emerged the claim was false as Nyandoro is still in the UK.

Speaking to NewZimbabwe.com Sunday, MDC secretary-general Charlton Hwende urged the government to demonstrate “sane reasoning” over the matter.

“No one is returning back home as an MDC- Alliance activist. These are Zimbabweans whose rights are equally protected under the national Constitution and as such, government has an obligation to provide them with decent accommodation,” he said.

Hwende said the allegations were mere propaganda aimed at touching the public’s raw nerves.

“We have done our investigations and what we discovered is that Nyandoro is not even at Belvedere Teachers’ College as alleged. She is in the United Kingdom as I am talking. Of course government may think that these are MDC activists because generally, the majority of Zimbabweans do not sympathise with the failing ruling party,” he added.