BY MOSES MATENGA
MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa has accused Zanu PF of being behind the death of a party activist who was assaulted during his tour of Masvingo a month ago.
Nyasha Mawere was buried in Gutu yesterday after succumbing to the injuries sustained in the attack during Chamisa’s visit to the province. Top MDC Alliance leaders that attended the burial, including deputy president Lynette Karenyi-Kore went to bury Mawere and bemoaned the persecution of members of the opposition party.
The mainstream opposition leader told The Standard in an exclusive interview yesterday that the father of one was “killed like a fly.”
“That’s an issue of impunity and fertilises the breakdown of security of the person and security of the citizen,” Chamisa said.
“We have so many cases of so many people, who have been attacked like this over the past years and how do you kill somebody like a fly like that?”
“There is no shame or sense of accountability on the part of those responsible.
“This is one of many cases we face as opposition and human rights defenders who continue to be treated in such a manner.”
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He said it was now clear that there was no difference between President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s rule and that of his predecessor, Robert Mugabe, where thousands of people were killed for supporting the opposition.
“It is clear the leopard has not and will not change its spots,” Chamisa said.
“This is an ominous sign of a dark cloud hovering over our nation, but nobody stays in charge forever.
“No power is permanent and no authority is endless. Let us understand that all we do will hurt and haunt us one day.
“It’s not good to have such impunity.
“The nation needs healing and we need peace-builders not those who burn bridges.
“The most unfortunate thing is we have the latter in the majority by those who are responsible.”
Chamisa said his party had also received reports of door to door intimidation of his supporters in rural areas by Zanu PF members, who were panicking over MDC Alliance’s forays into rural constituencies.
“I have heard so many reports of people being followed door to door in Mhondoro where some headmen’s houses were searched, with those involved accusing them of harbouring ploughs and seeds I was said to have given them,” he said.
“We have had cases of the military having meetings with chiefs where I had addressed like they did in Manicaland. It’s all part of the intimidation process.”
Chamisa said Zimbabwe needed genuine dialogue facilitated by the Southern African Development Community, African Union, South Africa and Zambia.
“The Zimbabwean crisis is man-made and authored by bad politics and bad governance,” he said.
“We can point at any external source, but for one finger pointing at that, four fingers are pointing at us.
“Let us address the issue of the four fingers pointing at us and that is the issue of reforms, finding each other, building a national consensus.
“We need a conversation as a source of resolving issues and that has been there since time immemorial.
“There is the concept of always sitting around a fireplace as a family to look at issues and if that fails, we always invite a neighbour.
“We have destroyed that fabric and ethic of conversation.
“We are sufficient to deal with issues if there is political will. We can look for common friends to have a conversation with.
“We have enough men and women in the clergy, in business, trade unions and civic society and let us try this very genuine way.
“There should be no conditions for dialogue except sincerity. It has to be about Zimbabwe.”
Zimbabwe has a long history of political violence that dates back to the 1980s where Mugabe unleashed the Fifth Brigade in the Midlands and Matabeleland where supporters of opposition Zapu led by the late vice president Joshua Nkomo were targeted.
Human rights activists say the pogrom known as Gukurahundi left over 20 000 civilians dead.
After the formation of the MDC in 1999, Zanu PF and security forces routinely unleashed violence on the opposition party’s supporters with the worst violence recorded in 2008 when Mugabe lost the first round of the presidential elections to the late Morgan Tsvangirai.