ORGANISERS of the July 31 anti-corruption march yesterday alleged harassment by suspected State security agents in a bid to stop the planned nationwide protests against President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government.
Former Zanu-PF youth leader and Front for Economic Emancipation Zimbabwe (FEEZ) leader Godfrey Tsenengamu, MDC Alliance deputy chairperson Job Sikhala, Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) president Peter Mutasa and Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz) president Obert Masaraure have vowed to press on despite alleged intimidation by suspected State security agents.
Tsenengamu, who yesterday revealed that his family had been attacked in Bindura, vowed the raid would not stop him from exercising his constitutional right.
“My family has been attacked in Bindura and a report has been made to the police. It is true I am under hostile surveillance, but I am not moved. I am not planning anything sinister and have no reason to run away from anyone. I have spoken and continue to speak against corruption and looting and will not be forced to stop. Threats, harassment and intimidation will not stop me from exercising my constitutional right,” he said.
Tsenengamu said the protests would go on.
Zanu-PF has threatened to unleash violence on protesters, with youths in Mashonaland East, saying they were mobilising forces to quash any dissenting voices that threaten Mnangagwa’s rule.
Zanu-PF provincial youth boss Kelvin Mutsvairo told a provincial co-ordinating committee meeting in Marondera on Saturday that they were already mobilising to counter the demonstrations and defend their vote.
“We are aware of their plot on July 31, but as Zanu-PF youths from this province, we stand with our leader President Mnangagwa. We will also do what it takes to defend our vote and the President. As youths, we are ready to ensure that there will be no skirmishes and this province will never experience such demonstrations,” he said.
Provincial chairperson Joel Biggie Matiza also echoed similar sentiments, saying Zanu-PF would not be moved by the protests.
The nation is currently experiencing an economic turmoil that has sent tempers simmering with opposition party leaders calling for protests against Mnangagwa’s administration which they say has failed to turnaround the country’s economic fortunes.
Sikhala, who is allegedly being trailed by security agents, said he was ready for any consequences.
“The business of trailing me started long before my treason trial. However, it intensified recently. This is done by people who refuse to accept that Zimbabwe belongs to all Zimbabweans, a tiny group of insolent individuals who think they own it and the rest are subjects of abuse. Thriving in frightening other people is a Stone Age mentality. Not in the 21st century. We will not allow it,” he said.
“Since the false accusations by Kazembe Kazembe (Home Affairs minister) that I am part of coup conspirators, stalking of my person intensified. But I am ready for any consequences. Freedom for all Zimbabweans is a calling. I won’t relent.”
Sikhala said he had raised the matter with Police Law and Order Section, but they said they were not looking for him.
“I got hold of the police Law and Order Section on whether they were looking for me and they said they were not. I informed them about the awkward visit in the wee hours of the night,” Sikhala said.
ZCTU’s Mutasa, who also endorsed the July 31 protests, had his vehicle tyres deflated by suspected State security agents on Sunday. He reported the matter under RRB4436785 at Dzivarasekwa Police Station.
Mutasa said some police officers had visited his residence on Saturday and failed to locate him before trying to seize his relatives.
“I am making a police report now. A gang saying they are police officers has visited my home and failed to see me and they tried to force my relatives into their car in order for them to reveal my whereabouts,” he said.
Mutasa said the officers came back on Sunday and deflated his vehicle tyres.
Artuz president Obert Masaraure also told NewsDay that armed suspected State security agents besieged the home of his relative in Kuwadzana 2, Harare, at around 2am yesterday demanding information on his whereabouts.
Masaraure said he was currently at a safe house in the capital.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said he was not aware of the reports made by the organisers, adding that he would issue a statement after receipt of complaints.
In the recent past, dissenting voices have been silenced by abductions. The government has often blamed an imaginary third force for kidnapping opposition activists and has also at times accused the victims of faking abductions.