ZIMCODD slams banditry claims by State media

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By Costa Nkomo

THE Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) has denied State media reports it was sponsoring banditry activities through training young Zimbabweans in Tanzania.

In a statement Thursday, the civic group described the claims as “malicious” and “unfortunate”.

Ahead of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s trip to the Sadc Summit in Tanzania two weeks ago, State media claimed there was a plot by opposition-linked and foreign-sponsored civil society organisations from Zimbabwe to soil the country’s image at the summit through demonstrations.

“This allegation is not only malicious but insulting, provocative and reckless putting the lives of the innocent people who participated at the 2019 People’s Summit at risk,” said the group.

“ZIMCODD would like to set the record straight, that never at any one point, was demonstrating against or ‘smearing’ the President on the agenda of the 2019 People’s Summit.”

The civil society further denied claims fellow NGOs had travelled with activists to Dar es Salaam to lobby for Harare to be placed on the regional bloc’s agenda.

The group slammed State media journalists who went ahead with the damning report without taking time to verify facts with it.

The SADC People’s Summit is an annual gathering of social movements from the region whose participants are drawn from youths, women, students, community-based organisations among other relevant stakeholders.

The People’s Summit, which is always organised on the side-lines of the SADC Heads of States and Governments, has been convened since 2006.