HARARE - Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC has accused President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF of displaying embarrassing ignorance of Zimbabwe’s new Constitution by attempting to outlaw mass action.
This comes after Zanu PF called for the arrest of Tsvangirai, saying he wants to incite a rebellion against their leader.
Zanu PF was reacting to remarks made by Tsvangirai at a rally in Zhombe on Saturday, where the former prime minister said the country, whose economy is on a downward spiral, cannot be held captive by one man.
Rugare Gumbo, Zanu PF spokesperson, said Tsvangirai should be arrested for inciting mass action.
MDC spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora said in terms of Section 59 of the new Constitution of Zimbabwe, every person has the right to demonstrate and present petitions as long as this is done peacefully.
Tsvangirai told the Zhombe rally that the country cannot be held captive by one man.
“We know that people are facing problems but Mugabe does not care,” Tsvangirai said as he pointed to company closures and subsequent employment losses.
“We will soon be mobilising Zimbabweans to take action. Zimbabweans cannot be held hostage by one man.”
Mwonzora said the behaviour of the government clearly justifies Zimbabweans staging mass demonstrations “against this clearly irresponsible government.”
“Therefore the MDC is within the law in calling for mass action against the government,” he said. “Any attempts by Zanu PF to harass president Tsvangirai are an act of foolish bravery.”
Gumbo said Tsvangirai should be arrested for inciting mass action.
“He made subversive statements and the law must take its course,” Gumbo told the Daily News. “I am sure the police are aware of this and they will bring him to book. We cannot allow anarchy in the country. Anyone who makes subversive statements should be punished.”
Mwonzora said the MDC will soon be calling upon the people of Zimbabwe to stage mass demonstrations against the government if it continues violating the rights of the Zimbabwean people.
“It will not be intimidated by Zanu PF into abandoning the people’s cause,” Mwonzora said. “In line with the MDC philosophy, these demonstrations will be peaceful.
“We see it strange that Zanu PF should be calling for president Tsvangirai to be arrested for saying things that the law permits. Maybe Rugare Gumbo should ask Paul Mangwana to give him free lessons in constitutional law.”