BY BLESSES MHLANGA/OBEY MANAYITI
MDC leader Nelson Chamisa has vowed that his party will intensify protests against President Emmerson Mnangagwa after the police banned a demonstration that was scheduled for Harare last Friday
Yesterday police arrested MDC chairperson Thabita Khumalo and the party’s Bulawayo orgainising secretary Senator Helen Zviviri for allegedly publishing falsehoods.
They allegedly distributed fliers that urged residents to join demonstrations in the city tomorrow because President Emmerson Mnangagwa “stole” last year’s election.
The two were arrested alongside six other party leaders.
On Friday police had used batons and water cannons to disperse hundreds of MDC supporters that had gathered in central Harare before the High Court threw out the party’s appeal against the ban.
The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum yesterday claimed that victims of Friday’s police crackdown said they were handed over to Zanu PF youths at the ruling party’s office along Fourth street where they were tortured.
The NGOs said there were fears that some of the victims had disappeared . Chamisa yesterday said the heavy-handed response by the police would not stop the
The MDC also plans to hold demonstrations in Gweru on Tuesday.
“In the days, weeks and months ahead, peaceful action is our force,” Chamisa said in a statement addressing his party supporters via Twitter.
“To the people who will come out to express themselves, we say it’s important to exercise your rights and to do so peacefully.
“Going forward, Zimbabweans have no choice but to continue peaceful expression.All authority comes from the people as it is up to them to assert it.
“(Mnangagwa) has made the choice for you, remain steadfast in the face of violence and intolerance and keep fighting for your rights.”
Chamisa had told this publication in an exclusive interview on Friday that the MDC was going to use peaceful protests as a strategy to force Mnangagwa to
address the dispute over last year’s elections.
“We have said that any peaceful, constitutional and lawful action is going to be our default setting going forward,” he said.
“Where we have applied and notified the police, we will proceed; and where they deny, we will try again until our issues are addressed.
“This is going to be a long haul and like any struggle, we are ready for the ups and downs and I can tell you that the people shall govern.
“Victory is certain, it might be difficult now, but people shall govern. No man has ever stopped an idea whose time has come.
“No dictator has ever succeeded in their fight against the people, so we know that it might be difficult now, but people shall make it.”
Police said they had evidence that the MDC protests would turn violent.