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'We will deal with you,' Mnangagwa threatens

IN AN ominous warning, President Emmerson Mnangagwa says the government will deal ruthlessly with opposition parties, civil society organisations and foreign missions that are allegedly bent on destabilising the nation.

Addressing Zanu-PF politburo members in Harare yesterday, Mnangagwa also cautioned some clerics and labour unions against dabbling in politics, telling them to "stay in their lanes".

This comes as the opposition, pro-democracy groups and labour unions are preparing to roll out mass protests against the government at the end of this month over the country's worsening economic rot.

It also comes as expelled former Zanu-PF youth leader, Godfrey Tsenengamu, has sensationally claimed that some disgruntled ruling party bigwigs are part of the organising team for the July 31 demos.

A bristling Mnangagwa said yesterday that his government would descend heavily on all those who were allegedly seeking to destabilise the country.

"On the political front, we continue to see acts that seek to outrightly destabilise the peace, unity and harmony that we are enjoying, in particular, through the use of platforms in the health, education and security sectors.

"We shall never quiver or capitulate in the face of these machinations. Zanu-PF is a revolutionary party, a party of liberation … with a rich ideology, history and a vision for the future.

"This character of our party is stronger than any challenge we may face no matter from what front," Mnangagwa said as he welcomed politburo members.

"Civil society organisations must stick to the functions and roles for which they were registered. Those who deviate from their mandates will attract de-registration.

"Some of our guests of the State, our foreign embassies, are reminded that Zimbabwe is an independent and sovereign nation.

"They are once again dissuaded from interfering in our internal affairs and should stop forthwith the funding of de-stabilisation activities," Mnangagwa said further.

The 77-year-old Zanu-PF leader also warned labour unions against pushing a political agenda.

"I urge those who purport to represent workers to do just that. It is a one-way traffic lane. Political ambitions and views belong to another lane. Choose the lane you walk on!

"Those in politics must seek the mandate of the people every five years through the ballot box. That is the constitutional way … rule of law way … democratic way," he warned further.

Mnangagwa also took aim at the MDC for allegedly trying to undermine his government, calling upon the country's largest opposition party to "clean the mess" at the councils it runs.

"In between these years, I urge political parties to express their capacity to govern on correct platforms.

"Sadly, we are seeing opposition parties clamouring for spaces that we control as Zanu-PF, yet the local authorities under their purview are havens of corruption, malpractice and poor service delivery," he said.

This comes as the country is in the vice grip of its worst economic crisis in a decade, which has triggered restlessness among Zimbabweans, with civil servants now embarking on strikes.

As a result, opposition parties are mobilising the restive populace to stage massive protests against the government at the end of this month.

This week, the organisers of the protests said they had approached labour union leaders as well as some clerics in a bid to have them become part of the planed demos.

Yesterday, Mnangagwa duly noted the fact that some clerics were supporting the planned demonstrations - sharply rebuking them for dabbling in politics.

"To churches and men of the cloth, as a nation we are yearning for you to churn out the incorruptible word of God to nourish and uplift us.

"There are some who are dabbling in politics. Ko, anotiparidzira shoko benyu ndiani kana topiringishana mupolitics (Who will preach to us the word of God then if you dabble in politics)?" he asked.

Interestingly, Mnangagwa did not publicly comment on the alleged involvement of some of his Zanu-PF lieutenants in the planned July 31 demonstrations.

On Wednesday, Tsenengamu claimed that some ruling party bigwigs were allegedly involved in the organisation of the planned July 31 mass protests against the government.

This comes as Zanu-PF is once again beset with ugly factional, tribal and succession wars - which split the former liberation movement in the middle in the last few years in power of the late former president Robert Mugabe.

Speaking in an interview with the Daily News, Tsenengamu - who now leads the anti-graft pressure group Front for Economic Emancipation in Zimbabwe (FEEZ) - claimed that he was working with some disgruntled Zanu-PF bigwigs in mobilising for the month-end demonstrations.

"The whole nation is in agreement against what the looters are doing. They will be surprised that on July 31, the majority of Zanu-PF members are going to be part of the protest against corruption.

"We are talking with some senior Zanu-PF members. Some are even … telling us that they are tired of corruption … we are working with them," he said.

Asked to name some of the officials involved, Tsenengamu would only say: "Wait and see how many people are going to come out from Zanu-PF who will be supporting this protest.

"There are many. This is not about factions, it's about people who are victims of corruption," he added.
Since his expulsion from Zanu-PF, over the allegations of corruption that he made against some of the party's bigwigs, Tsenengamu has become an arch critic of Mnangagwa and his government.

In the meantime, Mnangagwa and his under pressure administration are struggling to unshackle the country's economy from its current crisis - which has triggered fears of a return to the horror situation of 2008.

Despite the 77-year-old Zanu-PF leader having been feted like a king when he took over from the late Mugabe, via a widely supported military coup in November 2017, Mnangagwa and his government have found the task of repairing the country's broken economy very tough.

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka
Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

Chuka is an experienced certified web developer with an extensive background in computer science and 18+ years in web design &development. His previous experience ranges from redesigning existing website to solving complex technical problems with object-oriented programming. Very experienced with Microsoft SQL Server, PHP and advanced JavaScript. He loves to travel and watch movies.

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