Military crackdown: MDC to approach regional and international blocs

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) says it is approaching regional and international bodies to intervene in the unravelling humanitarian crisis in the country.

At least 12 people have been killed and dozens more injured by the security forces since protests began on January 14.

Up to 800 people, including minors, have been detained after being arrested on trumped-up charges or brought before courts in hearings that do not meet fair trial standards.

Hundreds have been denied bail and have been languishing in remand prison.

MDC president Nelson Chamisa, Tuesday said they have not received any response from the  Southern African Development Community (SADC) with regards to the ongoing crackdown.

“I have indicated to SADC that we have a humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe but have not received any response,” he told the media at a press conference held at the party headquarters in Harare.

“I do not know how much blood should shed on the streets before SADC responds. I don’t know how many women are supposed to be raped before we see our regional bodies intervening”.

He also castigated the Zanu PF led government for being sidelined while citizens were being brutalised.

“What is shocking is that there has been no attempt by the government to acknowledge these violations. There has not been a press conference to indicate the number of people who have died or the number of victims that we have, and it’s so telling of the intentions of government in terms of hiding what is happening,” said Chamisa.

Chamisa said the crackdown was a ploy to weaken the opposition party, revealing that 43 party officials have gone into hiding while five MPs are in prison.

He accused President Mnangagwa of being behind the operation by the security forces.

“We are all aware that this is now 14 months after Mr Mugabe exiting the political stand and what we are seeing is the escalation, of not only the Mugabe type of error, but we are actually seeing something which makes Mugabe looks like a baby in terms of terrorism,” said Chamisa.

Chamisa alleged that state agents were the ones brutalising innocent citizens.

“Across the whole country, we have seen scenes of terror where people are brutalised by people claiming to be sent by the state. We have also received cases of people being raped by people doing it in the name of the state,” he said.

The opposition president distanced his party from organising the protests, saying Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) was the one responsible.

“The stay way that was called for by the ZCTU, it had nothing to do with MDC.  We don’t organise a stay away because what we want is to stay at the state house not to stay away from the state house”



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