By Bulawayo Correspondent
UNDER fire Vice President Constantine Chiwenga Friday made a climb down on his highly inflammatory statements in which he likened opposition party, Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) to parasitical insects, lice, which must be crushed mercilessly.
Chiwenga made the remarks while addressing Zanu PF supporters in Kwekwe last Saturday.
Following Chiwenga’s remarks, a CCC supporter Mboneli Ncube was killed the following day at a rally by thugs identified by police as Zanu PF youths.
Civil society organisations and opposition parties have since then sharply rebuked the former army chief and asked him to retract the statements.
Addressing Zanu PF supporters in Bulawayo’s Old Pumula suburb, Chiwenga appeared to be singing a different tune.
“We also want the election process to be defined by peace. We don’t want any violence. We condemn it and give it the utmost contempt it deserves. Violence is not developmental,” Chiwenga said.
The former Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) commander said Zimbabweans were one people and there is no justification violence.
“Let us remind each other, including those in opposition that being in opposition today is not permanent. So we remain as brothers and sisters of one Zimbabwe. An election is certainly not a justification for any form of violence,” he said.
Chiwenga also accused the MDC-T councillors of running down the city of Bulawayo.
“It is high time that we say enough is enough. We are all aware that Bulawayo City Council, has farms in the peri urban environments, the farms used to be massive sources of employment particularly for the local people, the sad story is that the farms have been parcelled and rented out to council employees,” claimed Chiwenga.
“This council has dismally failed. They have failed the electorate and people of Bulawayo,” said Chiwenga.
“The city council used to own and run numerous strategic business units as part of diversification, so that they do not solely depend on revenue from rates. It is undisputable that such suburbs as Emkahandeni, Entumbane, Magwegwe, Nkulumane, Magwegwe and Pumula were built through ventures run by council. The strategic intervention were crucial for social service safety nets. The business created both employment and recreation for the people.”
“Is it not a shame that the current opposition led councils have selfishly decided to rent out revenue streams to themselves and changed business, where is their conscience,” he claimed.