By Tichaona Sibanda
SW Radio Africa
24 February 2014
President Robert Mugabe on Sunday claimed the MDC-T is closely associated with violence and should not be allowed to get into government.
He said this at Rudhaka stadium in Marondera during celebrations to mark his 90th birthday. The ageing ZANU PF leader celebrated the occasion with thousands of supporters on Sunday.
Mugabe’s attack on the MDC-T comes at a time when the opposition is facing criticism for what transpired over a week ago, when some of its youth members manhandled its deputy treasurer Elton Mangoma, for allegedly urging party leader Morgan Tsvangirai to step down.
“We cannot have a party of that nature coming into government — even allowing them to have seats to dominate possession of Parliamentary seats in our urban areas — Harare and Bulawayo. That is wrong,’ he said. Over the weekend police arrested an MDC-T youth leader accused of assaulting Mangoma, James Chidhakwa. He is the MDC-T secretary for security and defence in the youth assembly.
Mugabe’s statement was immediately rebuked by many from the MDC-T and civil society organisations (CSO’s). Political analyst Hopewell Gumbo said while the Mangoma incident is regrettable, Mugabe is no saint when it comes to violence.
‘His party is not only violent, but its history is littered with numerous epochs of death, yet he is in power, in fact using violence to get power,’ Gumbo said.
The MDC-T MP for Mbizo in KweKwe, Settlement Chikwinya, told SW Radio Africa that Mugabe should be the last person in Zimbabwe to accuse anyone or any organisation of being associated with violence.
‘Mugabe has stayed at the helm of government due to violent antics. He has defined and redefined the political landscape of Zimbabwe as a violent fabric where only the law of the jungle prevails.
‘The President is in government as a direct beneficiary of violence. In 2008 Better Chokururama, Godfrey Kauzani and Tonderai Ndira and many other cadres were murdered for ZANU PF to achieve an opportunity to be accommodated in the inclusive government,’ said Chikwinya.
And no Zimbabwean will ever forget Mugabe and ZANU PF’s most extreme violent act, the Gukurahundi, in which an estimated 20,000 people lost their lives.