ZANU-PF National Political Commissar Victor Matemadanda has promised to thwart Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) demonstrations that are set for August 16 saying the opposition party is prone to violent protests.
Matemadanda was speaking to the media on the side-lines of the Zimbabwe National Heroes Day Commemorations held in Harare on Monday when he said that MDC has always been involved in violent demonstrations hence government will not allow them to cause mayhem again.
Asked if the planned demonstrations will happen, Matemadanda said they won’t accept them.
“There are some people who think that democracy meant altruism. It won’t happen. These people whenever they demonstrate, they cause mayhem. We defend national interests against looters,” he said.
Matemadanda castigated MDC of fronting drunk people on demonstrations to cause violence.
“If they are going to be peaceful, then we do not have a problem with them. They always make people drunk so that they put them in front of their demonstrations,” he said.
The commissar’s statements come hardly after a month when he hinted that the maximum force of the army will be unleashed on protesters if there are cases of violence and destruction of property during protests.
“You can play with the police but not with the army. The police get trained to use minimum force but in the military, it is a completely different story. The army is trained to use deadly force whenever it gets deployed…” he said.
Deputy ZANU-PF youth league secretary Lewis Matutu also said MDC has no capacity to make peaceful demonstrations regardless of them applying to courts.
“MDC has no capacity to make peaceful demonstrations, they have a capacity to apply to courts. Let them play their game and we will play our part to protect our power,” he said.
Matutu also vowed to even override the police decision in the interest of protecting their power if MDC is given the green light to demonstrate.
“We do not consider what police says, we have our power as a party and we will protect it,” he said.
However, MDC Youth Assembly Deputy Spokesperson, Womberaiishe Nende told this publication that they have held peaceful demonstrations prior to 2018 elections hence they have a capacity of holding a peaceful demonstration.
“Prior to 2018 elections we had demonstrations and petitions that were peacefully meant to address the electoral reforms,” he said.
The planned 16 August demonstrations have been dubbed in some political corners as the “Final Push”, and the demonstrations have received support from MDC political activists and support base.