By Mary Taruvinga
MDC President Nelson Chamisa has lashed out at President Emmerson Mnangagwa, describing his nemesis as more cruel than former President Robert Mugabe.
Addressing the media Friday afternoon after a planned MDC demonstration was called off by the State, Chamisa said his party was concerned with the level of brutality visited upon civilians by anti-riot police in central Harare.
Chamisa said the Zanu PF led administration has removed any doubt of its cruelty and lack of remorse when police officers savaged unarmed civilians who had come into the city centre to demonstrate.
The main opposition leader said over 80 party followers who had heeded the MDC call for a street anti-government demonstration were arrested while there were 18 abductions on party supporters.
Also, according to Chamisa, the MDC recorded seven cases of serious injuries.
“We have a constitutional right to demonstrate but what is clear is that we have seen circumstances of extreme brutality by the police against civilians…some of whom we actually intended to address on way forward.
“That tells you the magnitude of the challenge we are facing particularly on police brutality,” he said.
“So that is the situation. What is clear is that the regime in Harare is far worse than that of Mugabe. One will be persuaded to think that Mugabe is back but you will then realise that Mugabe is even better. Even Mugabe at his worst, he has become a toddler when we talk about brutality compared to Mnangagwa,” said Chamisa.
The opposition leader said Mnangagwa’s cruelty was also laid bare by his government’s ability to buy new anti-riot gear for thousands of police officers who were deployed in the streets to attack civilians while Zimbabweans wallow in poverty.
Chamisa vowed that his party shall continue organising more demonstrations countrywide.
“Our way forward is very clear. It’s not going be a walk in the park. We are going to pursue every avenue. There will be no rest until we get what we want. This is nothing but a teaser,” said Chamisa.
“The struggle is not MDC’s struggle. It’s the struggle of the people of Zimbabwe.”
MDC’s Harare demonstrations were called off by the police Thursday night.
The party had called for a massive street demonstration to register growing discontentment over the Zanu PF led government’s failure to remedy a deepening economic crisis that has caused massive desperation in the country.
Police issued a ban on the protest Thursday night citing intelligence linking the demonstration to violence.
Following the ban, the MDC rushed to the High Court seeking nullification of the order but High Court Judge, Joseph Musakwa upheld the police ban.
The opposition believes police and the court took instructions from Mnangagwa.