By Makanaka Masenyama
ZIMBABWEANS have responded with anger to statements by President Emmerson Mnangagwa Friday that he regularly sends the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) to assault people.
Addressing hundreds of Kuwadzana residents in Harare Friday, Mnangagwa was heard saying he usually sends the army to beat up civilians across the country if government was unhappy over certain issues.
The video, which has since gone viral on social media, brings back memories of Zimbabweans who were assaulted while others were shot dead in January 2019 and August 2018 by soldiers.
“If we knew that it was the people of Kuwadzana who are causing rains not to fall, we would simply say army team up and let’s beat,” said Mnangagwa is heard saying in the short video clip to applause from senior government officials gathered.
Zimbabweans took to social media to register their anger with the utterances.
“What a violent and unpresidential disposition. Your (Nick Mangwana) boss is scaling new heights in the open-mouth shut-mind politics,” exiled former Cabinet Minister, Jonathan Moyo wrote.
“It is what a nation gets when citizens are silent and accepting nonsense,” said Knowledge Chipango.
In response, Information Ministry Permanent Secretary Nick Mangwana said the reactions to President Mnangagwa’s remarks were cheap and hateful propaganda.
“Unbelievable cheap and hateful propaganda. When we talk of sinister agendum, some rush to claim we are paranoid. Of course we are not,” he said.
In 2018, six civilians were shot dead by soldiers on August 1 after they took to the streets protesting over the delay by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission in announcing the presidential results.
In January 2019, at least 17 people were killed by soldiers who were unleashed onto the streets to quell mass protests sparked by a 150 percent fuel hike that had just been announced by government.