A key ally of President Emmerson Mnangagwa has warned citizens against heeding a call by the opposition MDC to take to the streets next Friday indicating it is likely to lead to loss of lives.
Deputy Information Minister Energy Mutodi, using his Twitter handle, said the planned August 16 demonstration that the MDC led by Nelson Chamisa argues is aimed at forcing Mnangagwa to the negotiating table to begin political reforms will be met by “a firm hand.”
“The MDC planned demo has been condemned by South African leaders and the whole Southern African Development Community (Sadc).
“Any sensible Zimbabwe will not risk their life taking part in such a futile event,” said Mutodi.
He added: “President Emmerson Mnangagwa is building the country step by step and any attempt to disturb him will be met with a firm hand.
MDC planned demo has bn condemned by South African leaders & the whole SADC. Any sensible Zimbabwean will not risk their life taking part in such a futile event. President Mnangagwa is building the country step by step & any attempt to disturb him will be met with a firm hand…
— Hon. Dr Energy Mutodi (PhD) (@energymutodi) August 9, 2019
While police have indicated they are yet to respond to a notice for the demonstration from the MDC, Home Affairs Minister Cain Mathema last week said he had directed Commissioner General of the Police to leave nothing to chance.
Deputy Defence Minister Victor Matemadanda also added that government would not hesitate to deploy the army if the demonstrators turned rogue.
Zanu PF youth leader Pupurai Togarepi also responded to the MDC’s calls for protests declaring the ruling party will not fold its hands and watch, setting the stage for what could turn into an explosive situation.