GOVERNMENT has emerged with fresh allegations, accusing some of the 65 returning citizens who flew back from the UK last Monday of being MDC Alliance activists bent on sabotaging the country’s COVID-19 fight through attempts to score cheap political points.
The claims follow allegations that one of the returnees, housed at Belvedere Teachers College in Harare, was among hordes of MDC Alliance activists who attacked Foreign Affairs Minister Sibusiso Moyo during the latter’s visit to London last July.
Moyo had visited London, at the time, with other senior government officials as part of Zimbabwe’s re-engagement efforts with the international community following years of global isolation because of its poor human rights record and failure to implement economic and political reforms.
According to State media, the alleged attacker is Mary Nyandoro, a known MDC Alliance activist and one of the people who gave government headache after trying to resist compulsory quarantine at the Harare college citing “poor conditions”, preferring to be accommodated in a hotel.
Social Welfare Deputy Minister, Lovemore Matuke also confirmed her presence at the teacher training centre, adding the government noted with concern that some of the UK returnees were actually MDC Alliance activists who attacked Minister Moyo.
“Ms Nyandoro is among the batch of 26 UK returnees who are complaining about the facilities at the college,” Matuke said.
However, there are 65 confirmed returning citizens at Belvedere Teachers College who came aboard the same Ethiopian Airlines plane, not 26 as claimed by Matuke.
State media accuse Nyandoro of being part of the crowd seen showering the Zimbabwe delegation led by Moyo with bottled water in London.
“She held a placard labelled; ‘TOO EARLY TO REMOVE SANCTIONS’, referring to illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by some Western countries that have affected the economy,” it said.
Matuke went on to accuse the MDC Alliance of trying to score cheap political points.
“Now is not the time to score cheap political mileage, as government, with the rest of the world is making frantic efforts to fight the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
“These people are attention seekers with a political agenda. This is not time for politicking, the pandemic is serious. We cannot risk their families because they have their own motives. The activists are trying to politicise COVID-19 and trying to destabilise the spirit of unity, which is currently prevailing in the country.
“We will only be able to give attention to such behaviour after we manage to control the pandemic.”
The State media also dismissed as inaccurate, claims of a deplorable state of affairs at the isolation centre.
It claimed the training centre had uninterrupted supplies of electricity and running water for bathing, while bottled water was being provided with the group enjoying three-course meals a day.