He is Zanu PF member Abton Mashayanyika of the Habbakuk Apostolic Faith Mission in Mberengwa in the Midlands. He went as far threatening opposition leader Nelson Chamisa and his family with death. A video taken at a rally shows him saying: ‘When we say down-down with Chamisa, we mean he should be killed. Do you all understand the meaning? Down with CCC (Citizens Coalition of Change), down with Chamisa and his
Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the matter was being investigated at local level. Zanu PF spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa refused to comment. But the CCC acting spokesperson Gift Siziba said: ‘We do not take this lightly chiefly because there have been numerous attempts on the life of president Chamisa. It is to this end that we call for our able police service to move with speed and detain Mashayanyika and charge him and his accomplices with death threats and calling for violence.’
Lawyer Alec Muchadehama said Mashayanyika should be charged for inciting public violence. He said the police response showed how they applied the law selectively, only targeting people who are perceived to be anti Zanu PF. Certainly the police did not hesitate to take action against CCC legislators such as Job Sikhala and Godfrey Sithole who have been incarcerated at Chikarubi maximum security prison since 14th June on charges of inciting violence following the murder of an opposition activist MoreBlessing Ali.
The Vigil has seen a message from Job Sikhala expressing their gratitude for the support fellow CCC activists have given them. ‘Please pray for us’, it says. The Vigil doubts that Bishop Mashayanyika will oblige! (See: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/my-reward-is-in-heaven-jailed-sikhala-pens-an-emotional-letter-to-zimbabweans-asks-them-to-turn-sunday-a-national-day-of-prayer/).
Steve Hanke, an American economics professor who has taken a close interest in Zimbabwe over the years, says: ‘Zanu PF has more in common with a criminal organisation than a political party.’ In an interview with CNBC Africa he said: ‘“You have got criminals running the country.’ Political lecturer and analyst Eldred Masunungure said Hanke’s assertion was spot on. ‘This is a party in government, deeply corrupt and has all sorts of predatory conduct, both in politics and the economic issues of the country; but it remains a political party. It’s an ugly animal, yes.’ (See: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2022/07/death-threat-on-chamisa/.)
The Zimbabwean economist Eddie Cross, a former member of the Reserve Bank Monetary Committee, has also criticised the government. In an interview with the state broadcaster he said the country’s economic problems were caused by ‘entrenched interests whose selfish actions are almost a form of state capture.’ (See: https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/mnangagwa-captured-by-advisers-cross/.)
Despite a history of successfully rigging elections, Zanu PF still betrays anxiety as polling day approaches. The party’s youth league executive member Phenias Makombe has tried to settle nerves by assuring members that sources at the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission have told him the party will win the 2023 election. Although voting is some time away, Mnangagwa is apparently mysteriously already leading with at least 3.8 million votes, while Chamisa is at a mere 20,000 (see: https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zec-told-us-we-are-leading-in-2023-elections-says-zanu-pf-leader-claims-mnangagwa-already-has-3-8-mln-votes/).
- ‘Scoundrelism’ was the inventive description the Chinese Embassy in Harare used to dismiss stories in the Standard exposing corruption, worker abuse and harmful environmental practices by Chinese companies in Zimbabwe. Who’s the real scoundrel here? (See: https://zero.pindula.co.zw/the-standard-were-extremely-worried-about-the-chinese-embassys-threats/.)
- Even more amusing was the complaint by Zanu PF to ZEC accusing the opposition of plotting to rig the election (see: https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zanu-pf-writes-to-zec-accusing-the-opposition-of-plotting-to-rig-2023-elections/).
- CCC deputy leader Tendai Biti, finance minister during the coalition government, says the inflation rate is now 430% and has demanded a statement on the country’s ‘worsening economic crisis’ (see: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/biti-inflation-now-430-exchange-rate-1800-mthuli-must-explain/).
- ROHR walkers and supporters are continuing their fundraising efforts for the 13 mile ROHR walk on 18th June. The aim is to raise funds for voter registration, mobilisation and education to ensure all eligible citizens exercise their right to vote without fear or manipulation to help ensure free, fair and credible elections in Zimbabwe. So far £2,433 has been raised with more to come. For photos of the event check: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72177720299887947.
- The Vigil met outside the Embassy today. For the moment we are meeting on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month. There will be a virtual Vigil on the other Saturdays. Thanks to those who came today: Farayi Chikowore, Kudzai Chikowore, Delice Gavazah, Jonathan Kariwo, Philip Maponga, Joyce Mbairatsunga, Margaret Munenge, Esther Munyira, Ephraim Tapa and Rose Benton. For photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72177720300591916.
- For Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.
Events and Notices:
- Next Vigil meeting outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. Saturday 6th August from 2 – 5 pm. We will continue meeting on the first and third Saturdays of every month. On other Saturdays we will continue the virtual Vigil.
- Next ROHR Meeting. Saturday 6th August at 11 am.
- ROHR Beach Party. Saturday 13th August at Frinton-on-Sea, Essex. For more information, Contact: Chido Makawa 07413024807, Enniah Dube 07367504747 and Esther Munyira 07492058107.
- The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents us.
- The Vigil’s book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ is based on our weekly diaries. It records how events in Zimbabwe have unfolded as seen by the diaspora in the UK. It chronicles the economic disintegration, violence, growing oppression and political manoeuvring – and the tragic human cost involved. It is available at the Vigil. All proceeds go to the Vigil and our sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe’s work in Zimbabwe. The book is also available from Amazon.
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