BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
MTHWAKAZI Republic Party (MRP) leader Mqondisi Moyo says state-sponsored persecution has inspired him to cause government sleepless nights as he described President Emmerson Mnangagwa as worse than the late Robert Mugabe.
Moyo has not been staying at his home since March 12 claiming that he is in hiding fearing possible arrest, or kidnapping after leading MRP activists in a surprise protest outside Bulawayo Central police station days before.
Police fired warning shots to deter MRP activists, who were threatening to storm the station as they protested the alleged harassment and intimidation of their leader.
Nine MRP activists were arrested during the protest and detained at Khami maximum prison for over a month.
They were only released a fortnight ago by Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Evangelista Kabasa.
They are set to appear in court later this month facing public violence charges.
In an interview, Moyo, a former civil servant who said he had been arrested over a dozen times since the formation of the party in January 2014, said state-sponsored persecution and harassment had hardened him and his party followers.
He said he now understood that politics was his calling that he cannot run away from.
He added that in the process of that fear and persecution, he was being motivated and inspired to do more because it ruffing sent a message that, whatever he was doing with his colleagues in the MRP, really getting to this government.
Moyo said if whatever they were doing was not shaking the authorities, they would not be facing these arrests.
He said he was also encouraged that whatever persecution they were enduring, they (ministers, Zanu PF and government officials) also went through them during the Smith regime era.
Moyo said he believed state security agents wanted to abduct and possibly kill him when they raided his home in March. He revealed that state security agents have also been visiting his relatives asking about his whereabouts.
“I think I have been arrested over 17 times and in all the arrests, police had never come to my house at night as was the case on March 10,” he said.
“It was a first; it was unique and I feel that those people either wanted to kill me or kidnap me,” Moyo said.
“To this day, they continue visiting the residential homes of my relatives interrogating them about my whereabouts.
“They have not given up on my persecution, but whether they kill me or not, the seed has already been planted.”
Moyo bemoaned alleged state-sponsored human rights violations in the country under Mnangagwa, saying the MRP had suffered worse persecution than they endured under the Mugabe era.
“I think Mnangagwa’s era is even worse than that of Mugabe,” he said.
“So many arrests of our members have happened during Mnangagwa’s era more than Mugabe’s era. He is even worse than Mugabe. He has exposed his true colours,” Moyo said.
Human rights watchdogs have recorded countless rights violations since Mnangagwa assumed office.
Armed soldiers and police have killed protesters participating in anti-government demonstrations, and arrested opposition activists with many facing various charges.
Some activists have been abducted, tortured and left for dead.