MDC deputy national chair Tendai Biti says the main opposition’s peaceful protest Thursday helped strengthen its position that military intervention was not required on matters of maintaining public order in the country.
This follows similar comments he made last week before the Commission of Inquiry into the August 1 post-election disturbances in which his party is fingered for causing violence that ended with six civilians gunned down by what is believed to be soldiers.
Zimbabwean authorities are keen to justify army deployments into central Harare during the fateful day but the opposition has maintained police were capable of handling the situation on their own.
In a Twitter comment, Biti said the peace which prevailed during the Thursday march should serve to convince all and sundry that his party was not associated with any violence.
“We have always maintained that we are a peaceful constitutional people. We have maintained that. Left on its own and free of the politics, the Zimbabwean police can maintain law and order.
“Today was Exhibit A for our decency, lawfulness, maturity, peace and determination,” said MDC top official.
He added, “Today, just like 5 June and 11 July (during MDC marches) exposes 1 August. The truth is on 1 August, life was lost at the hands of a clique that used the military to unleash live bullets on an unarmed civilian population. 1 August 2018 was a new low for Zimbabwe even by non-existent standards of Zanu PF.”
Biti, as an individual, was accused of urging party youths to engage in the violence.
He has denied that while the main opposition has also disowned the protesters on the day in question.
The former finance minister said his party has been involved in demonstrations before, all ending peacefully.