New Zimbabwe.com

MDC Alliance distances self from ‘Monday shutdown’ as army and ZRP blast social media ‘falsehoods’

By Anna Chibamu


THE MDC Alliance has distanced itself from social media messages claiming the opposition coalition is organizing a countrywide shutdown this Monday.

The alliance is bitterly disputing the results of last week’s elections, particularly the presidential vote which was won by President Emmerson Mnangagwa with 50.8 percent of the ballot against about 44 percent for alliance leader Nelson Chamisa.

Anger over the poll results resulted in deadly violence in Harare Wednesday which left seven people dead and several others injured.

Speculation continued at the weekend that the opposition was planning further protests this week.

However, in a statement, officials said; “The MDC Alliance distances itself from the message circulating on social media calling for a shutdown on Monday.

“Our party is preparing for a court challenge on Presidential results. We urge our supporters to remain calm and wait for the court ruling.”

In an interview with NewZimbabwe.com Sunday evening, the coalition’s presidential spokesperson Nkululeko Sibanda added that “there is no plan for such an event as the Alliance is planning to go the court way.”

The military and the police also issued a joint statement condemning the protest calls.

“The Zimbabwe Republic Police and other security services have noted with great concern falsehoods that are being peddled on social media which are obviously meant to cause alarm and despondency in the country,” reads the statement.

“Some of the false messages include the one where it is alleged that soldiers are calling upon the people of Zimbabwe to go onto the streets and shut down Zimbabwe. For the record, this message and its contents should be dismissed.

“The Zimbabwe Defence Forces does not communicate through social media. Such propaganda is meant to incite public violence and tarnish the image of Zimbabwe Defence Forces.”