Mnangagwa warns activists against ‘grandstanding’ through ‘reckless’ demonstrations

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By Mary Taruvinga

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has warned the nation against holding demonstrations against his government describing such actions as “reckless and unwarranted demonstrations for political grandstanding”.

Addressing mourners during the burial of late Zanu PF politburo member Absolom Sikhosana at the National Heroes Acre Wednesday, Mnangagwa said at a time the country was battling the Covid-19 pandemic, there was need to focus on the global pandemic.

Mnangagwa’s remarks come at a time his government was under fire over rights abuses by security agents enforcing the country’s lockdown rules.

Three MDC Alliance activists are hospitalised following torture ordeals experienced when they were allegedly abducted by suspected state security agents last week.

The three include Harare West legislator Joanna Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova.

They were arrested soon after holding a flash demonstration over the state’s failure to provide for the poor during the country’s Covid-19 lockdown.

Mnangagwa said such behaviour will not be tolerated.

“As I conclude, I wish once again to draw the attention of the nation to the invisible enemy that has visited us in the form of the Coronavirus, also known as Covid-19,” he said.

“It is a real threat to us all and no one is safe or immune from it. Let’s keep adhering to the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines for preventing its spread.

“I want to end my remarks by reminding us to remain united and to keep the peace.

“We must never endanger the lives of our people through illegal, reckless and unwarranted demonstrations for political grandstanding.

“We are one people, one nation, one Zimbabwe.”

In his address, Mnangagwa described the late Sikhosana as a selfless cadre who put the country ahead of personal interest.

He said the late hero worked hard for the benefit of the ruling party and the national at large.

“His clarion call to the youths as the vanguard of the revolution was to remind them that political independence without economic freedom was hollow.

“Hence, he kept driving the point that youths have a key responsibility to participate in all sectors of the economy for sustainable development which leaves no one behind,” said Mnangagwa.

Sikhosana died after early this week in a Bulawayo hospital after being sick for some time.

He was 70.