ZANU PF youths have declared war on demonstrators of the planned July 31 nationwide protests insisting they will not sit idle as their adversaries plot to unseat their leader, President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The Zanu PF youths also urged police to crush the anti-corruption demonstrations, which have been called to protest massive high level corruption in the country and also demand looters of national resources to leave their jobs.
This comes as press reports this week suggested Mnangagwa has instructed Treasury to buy a new fleet of crowd control vehicles, including troop-carrying trucks and water canons.
Addressing small to medium enterprises operators in Mbare, Harare on Friday, Zanu PF youth leaders led by the acting deputy secretary of the youth league Tendai Chirau, declared war on the protesters.
Mbare is one of the few areas in the capital where Zanu PF still enjoys sizeable support.
Chirau told the gathering, the ruling party youths would ensure that it will be business as usual on the day of the planned protests.
Jacob Ngarivhume, the President of Transform Zimbabwe is the national convener of the mass demonstrations.
“They want to be violent and want to think they will repeat what they did in August 2018 to burn property and vehicles. Why loot and burn property? We love peace but we have people who want violence to get into power,” Chirau said.
“On July 31, we are there to protect peace and our work. I assure you that the people of Zimbabwe will not stand for that stupidity. If someone does anything on July 31, be warned and don’t ask anyone if you see what will happen.
“The baton sticks with the police are not for display. Police are there to maintain law and order and if there is anyone who wants to cause problems, they (the police) have a right to use force.”
He added, “We will not stand and watch. On July 31, go to work if you are in business. As the people of Zimbabwe, together with our police officers, we will not tolerate violence.
“We recognise President Mnangagwa as our president and he is working night and day to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. But you find others wanting to remove him from power.”
Zanu PF secretary for youth affairs for district coordinating committee six, Emmanuel Mahachi, said the youths will work with police to arrest the protesters.
“Let me assure you, as leader of this area, people who are planning the illegal demonstration set for July 31, we know them and they are thieves. I want to assure you that working with our police, we will arrest those who will get into the streets to cause trouble,” he said.
“On the day, we will protect our jobs, Mupedzanhamo (flea market) must open that day and no one will come to do anything here. We are a peaceful people and on that day we should unite and stop the looting by these people. We will work with our security forces to stop them.
“You (Chirau) sit in the (Zanu PF) Politburo with President Mnangagwa. Please go and tell him to sleep peacefully for we are protecting him and the country is in very safe hands. We are not afraid of anyone.”
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) has distanced itself from media reports that it is backing the demonstrations.
In a statement, Defence Forces Commander General Phillip Valerio Sibanda dismissed the allegations as a figment of imaginations and not of the ZDF.
“It should be noted that, as a professional, loyal and patriotic Defence Force, the ZDF does not involve itself in anti-people activities that are designed to achieve anti-Government political and economic objectives by some malcontents within our citizenry,” he said.