"It is quite clear that we are in a chaos scenario where they are unleashing violence and intend to harvest fear from the seeds that they planted in June of 2008. We as a party will remain committed to non-violence, despite provocation. We swore when this party was formed that we would pursue a non-violent, democratic way of achieving democratic change. We will remain committed to this path," Biti told The Zimbabwean.
The violence has spread from the rural to the urban areas, and the MDC’s campaigning efforts have been severely curtailed in recent weeks.
MDC-T Harare Province Chairperson Paul Madzore has laid the blame for the mayhem clearly at the door of police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri.
“Chipangano is a group of mercenaries who love money and violence. Because of their connections to the police, who are not arresting them, they could get hold of guns and cause a bloodbath,” he said in an exclusive interview.
He said Chihuri misled President Robert Mugabe on the causes of Chitungwiza violence on Sunday where MDC supporters were beaten and their property looted by members of Chipangano.
“Chihuri has blood on his hands. He is supposed to protect Zimbabweans but he has not because he is Zanu (PF). The police are actually fanning the chaos,” said Madzore.
“The whole country has been militarized. The army, the police and the CIO are fighting against MDC-T and indeed the whole country. People like Chihuri should be ashamed that they are failing to carry out their duties,” he added.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has warned South African President Jacob Zuma, the SADC-mandated facilitator of the Zimbabwean crisis, that the GNU is on the verge of collapse. The recent green light from the Kimberly Process for Zimbabwe to sell its diamonds on the open market has emboldened Zanu (PF) by assuring it of a source of income to fund its election campaign – a key component of which is organised violence against any perceived opponents.
But Zimbabweans are increasingly speaking out. "Only a foolish fly would follow a corpse to the grave," said Mai Nyasha from Highfield, who declined to give her real name. "They (Zanu) have nothing to offer except beat people up."
Jairos Mundangepfupfu, a Masters student, urged Zuma to continue to put pressure on Mugabe to implement the power sharing pact. He said too many decisions have been delayed too long and too many excuses made for what is actually happening.
"If there is going to be any real attempt to help the country, it will have to be a concerted and direct international effort," he said. MDC activist Clarence Madhuku said Zanu (PF) had thumbed its nose at democratic processes.
"To be honest, no one has any interest anymore in keeping the old man in power," said Madhuku. Another MDC activist who declined to be named said it was time for the MDC to fight back.
"We cannot continue to be beaten up. I think we need a militia, like our own Chipangano. We control Harare and we cannot not be terrorised by Zanu (PF) thugs in constituencies that have our councillors and our MP. Can you imagine if the MDC abducted Jim Kunaka (Zanu (PF) Youth League chairman)?
"Zanu (PF) must know that the MDC can defend itself. It’s just that our chefs insist that we shouldn't fight back, but I tell you one day we will take the law into our own hands. We cannot continue to be abused like this and they expect us to offer another cheek. These are not Biblical times," he said.Post published in: News