MDC protests: Security beefed up

HARARE - Opposition supporters planning a protest against President Robert Mugabe’s government have accused authorities of pre-empting the action through religious leaders as police step up security.

But opposition activists have vowed to press ahead with the mass action “soon” to express discontent and disgust over the prevailing state of affairs.

Despite warnings of bloodshed by charismatic preachers Emmanuel Makandiwa and Walter Magaya in this deeply religious nation, the opposition insists that the new Constitution legalises peaceful demonstrations.

Police units have already been deployed strategically around the MDC’s Harvest House headquarters in central Harare as the situation threatens to spiral out of control.

Campaigners claim this proves the state is employing Orwellian methods to quash the protest in an attempt to disrupt opposition efforts.

They fear the police reinforcements could mean the government was preparing to violate the new Constitution and deploy fear as articulated by Makandiwa, and supported by Magaya.

The ominous new development comes with a stark warning that protestors will be stung by bees and that there will be bloodshed.

The State media claimed the prophecy was meant to forestall the mass action.

But opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has said the prophecy could as well be referring to Zanu PF, which is currently wracked by unprecedented infighting and skulduggery.

Meanwhile, Douglas Mwonzora, the MDC spokesperson, said the anti-government protests were forging ahead and the action will demonstrate beyond any doubt that the people of Zimbabwe have no fear and will take concrete steps to redress the deepening hardships.

The protests come just a year after presidential elections gave Mugabe, the only ruler since the southern African country won independence in 1980, another five-year term.

Independent election observers said the election was swayed by intimidation and vote rigging.

The stand-off has brought tensions between protesters and the authorities to a new high after two months of MDC rallies over the government abandoning its electoral promises, including delivering two million jobs.

The government has said the protest are illegal and police have warned that they would deal ruthlessly with any violence.

An MDC supporter said the ruling party must “take into account our demands” and uphold “the constitutional right to peaceful assembly and expression,” said the sympathiser who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Zimbabwe is grappling with a deepening political and economic crisis. The economy has been on free-fall since elections last year with record unemployment and acute shortages of foreign currency.

Nearly a quarter of the drought-hit country’s 13 million people face food shortages. Mugabe’s critics blame the shortages partly on the government’s seizure of white-owned land for redistribution among the landless black majority and his empowerment policies.

Mugabe, on the other hand, accuses his enemies abroad of sabotaging the economy.

Dewa Mavhinga, senior researcher with Human Rights Watch, said government and all its institutions — including the police — should be guided by the new Constitution which guarantees a right to peacefully demonstrate and; freedoms of association, expression and assembly.

“Threats to ban or stop peaceful protests violate our constitution,” he told the Daily News yesterday. “From time to time, some church leaders become openly political and partisan, departing from the correct and narrow path of non-partisanship.

“Indeed, churches must promote peace always. But the guarantor of peace is government and so the church must not tell people not to peacefully demonstrate but rather tell the police not the shed the blood of peaceful protestors.

“If the church delivers one-sided prophecies or messages then it becomes a problem. They will have turned political and partisan instead of speaking the truth to power in the defence of constitutionalism and democracy.”

UK-based Zimbabwean scholar and political analyst George Shire said the planned protests were naive.

“They are a desperate attempt by an opposition party that lost dismally at the polls and has since failed to galvanise public opinion in its favour,” Shire said.

“Protests — ‘Zimbabwe style’ — have in the past so often turned into orgies of violence so against that background it is not surprising that warnings are being given to dissuade people from being roped into this pointless exercise. All Zanu PF has to do is to use its hold on the state apparatus to turn this into a law and order issue for the country.”

Asked about the new constitutional provisions okaying mass protests, Shire said this was not about the right of protest but a sign of political chaos.

“The problem for them is that they do not have a national alternative narrative that they attracts a majority or are considered bread and butter issues,” he said.

“A protest campaign might have a chance to succeed if it touches on what binds a majority of people together. The MDC has this habit of picking fights on things that do not have a resonance with the country’s political psyche. This is not about anybody’s right of protest and they know it.”

Comments (29)

People should just learn to listen when the prophet speaks. I think the key issue here is where it was interpreted that we may end up having UN peace keepers. That is the worst case scenario and as Zimbabwe we do not want to be classified as a civil war torn country. It is obvious that any kind of demonstration in Zimbabwe, no matter peaceful, violent, constitutional or unconstitutional will be thwarted by military force. An these are the bees that will come out of the forest. The other flying bees will be the peace keepers. If Tsvangirai respects or believes in men of God for real maybe he should just speak to Prophet Makandiwa personally and not to disregard the prophecy. And for your own info, even when the prophet tells you what you already know, it is still prophecy and that is because prophecy has many streams.

Tawanda we Ufic - 30 September 2014

i usually dont comment but to hell with gaymore shire. I mean seriously political anlayst that sits in the UK and wants to tell us striking is not a good idea are you crazy. Come to zimbabwe and lets talk about bread and butter issues. Please stop commenting on stuff you dont know about the moment the goverment cant pay civil servants that is the end of a country . We are almost there unless we peacefully demonstrate. And makandiwa why is he entering into politics now. We know he donated thousands to bona and also angel where speaking at his rally. magaya also payed 150k to get his case sorted and we all know these fraudsters are zanu .

petros - 30 September 2014

What is good here is that should the Government, through the use of state apparatus of the police and army go ahead, then the voices of the oppressed can actually travel beyond the country's borders. China tried it and the oppressed people of China seem to be getting their voices loud and clear because the world is never blind. As China imposes a blackout on the goings on in the country, the masses are happy as they see their action going breaking news on the international stage. Freedom is a big price Zimabweans, pay it and you will enjoy it one day. Or you shall live hope for your children and great grandchildren

Ziziharinanyanga - 30 September 2014

@Tawanda we UFIC. Keep believing your fortune tellers from Ghana, I will not be moved. If your prophets are genuine christians they should not even attempt to comment on anything to do with politics and taking sides. This is clearly against God's laws (John 15:17-19) James 4:4. Dangling religion with politics is spiritual prostitution. So please stick to your spiritual prostitutes and we will stick to the only true God. Cant you see that the name of your UFIC has nothing to do with God? Cant you see? Do not be fooled by these magicians from Ghana?

Rwatida Makuwe - 30 September 2014

Shiri, if you enjoy yo British hospitality pliz do so quietly and leave a little respect for us Zimbabweans in Zimbabwe. We ONLY listen to analysts like Dewa Mavhima NOT yu. As for makandiwa and company, I hve ALWAYS said these are fake churchmen. Makandiwa built a house for a chief in Mash central in 2008 after the chief used his original house as a torture base for other citizens of Zimbabwe. He is the one again who said early this year that all industries will be fully operational, that noise will once again come to the industries. makandiwa Ifake!!! pfutseki mhani!!!

changu - 30 September 2014

Makandiwa's words're not a prophecy but a dream like that of Pharaoh,then interpreted by Joseph. Makandiwa himself failed to tell the meaning of his dream. Magaya had to support his counterpart as required by ZANU PF. But where were these prophets when the country's economy gradually went down?Why're they suddenly interested in the country's affairs?Indeed,where're they when ZANU PF lied about the 2.2 million jobs?Why would the state's print&electronic media give prominence to the so called prophecy especially after a certain party had published its intention to demonstrate?I think our prophets should leave partisan politics.

HYPOCRITES - 30 September 2014

The problem with people like this George Shire is that they are a creation of the press. Pamwe mwana watete kana kuti vakadzidza vese nareporter uye kana auya kumusha anotenga doro. They end up calling anyone who is literate a political commentator. Please spare us the b***sh**. We have enough sensible people within the borders of Zimbabwe to contribute to your articles without resorting to "kuveza ma commentator". As for the prophets has anybody wondered why ZANUpf no longer uses people like Kunonga or Obediar Musindo? They have found better replacements in the two popular prophets of the day. Remember the 1m-man-march? Remember who gave the prayers whilst people were being terrorized in the Mbare and Mupedzanhamo areas and shepherded to the Zimbabwe Grounds. The only solace is that everything has an ending including ZANUpf and false prophets.

Kufakwejeyi - 30 September 2014

Yes many countries admire our rich natural resources but they pity us on the poor governance.God'll never applaud the suffering of his people simply because all authority comes from him.We would not've fought Smith.God would not've anointed David while Saul was still living.God would not have sent Moses to Egypt.We should not quote the bible out of context. God'll always sympathize with the suffering masses.

CONTEXT - 30 September 2014

our constitution doesn't accommodate illegitimate people to protest for Presidency especially when one has been defeated in the recent elections. Mr Tsvangirai have failed us for the past years and elections, now we cant support twushungu twavo twekudyiwa. makadyiwa maElections now papera gore makuda kuita Noise nekuuraisa vanhu.

Prince - 30 September 2014

People must not listen to varoyi . balozi , abathakathi Makandiwa and sifebeMagaya They are not even zangoma but bathakathi straight away . I always feel sorry to see people gathering in thousands kuti varoyiwe na Magandiwa . Pliz banhu monopembezerereyi baroyi .

Diibulaanyika - 30 September 2014

Amai vako ndivo muroyi

@Diibulaanyika - 30 September 2014

Surely lack of knowledge kills people and indeed I now believe that some people are moving graves how can a living person claim that Prophets should not be involved in politics when in actual fact the bible clearly states that the governance is upon God's shoulders.Prophet MAKANDIWA never forced you to listen to him if you don't want to then its your choice.After all what are you going to take home as your package because you have engaged in a strike?Those who want to strike let them strike but there are always effects of any course of action taken.Be it good or bad.Consult from Genesis to Revelation carefully you will notice that no political leader succeded whenever he fails to take heed to the word of Prophecy from Prophets. I wonder when we claim that Zim has highest literacy rate and yet you fail to read & understand only one book the Bible.PEOPLE YOU NEED DELIVERANCE

givemore muzarewetu - 1 October 2014

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GALLERYCARTRIDGES - 1 October 2014

The bible clearly says there shall be fake prophets . Does it not say so ?Why do you defy it. Do you think the fake prophet will come written fake?You zimbos can be easily lied to .Recently You were told they was petrol jetting out from under the earth and you jumped in celebration . Now what is that ? Stupid .Where is the gold you were told will rain ? Zero. Open you eyes and brain and you will see satan at work.

Diibulaanyika - 1 October 2014

Givemore muzarewetu , it is you who need deliverance and must go home and start to read the bible, see the message don't look at the message. looking and seeing are 2 different things all together. I believe Makandiwa should have talked about how people should behave and how police should behave. His dream is the same as Pharaoh's dream but when he says don't touch the anointed of God hey I wonder if God anointed Mugabe to lead a party which kills innocent people, burns down people's homes and impoverishes his people, that is not the God I know. Makandiwa and Magay could have their own god with small letters. The Baals.

maita - 1 October 2014

haaaaaaaaaaaaah pakaipa

john - 1 October 2014

@ Maita Remember, God's ways are not the ways of man. His wishes are not the wishes of man. Thesame bible says in the book of Timothy 'submit yourselves to your kings, for all authorities are appointed by God...(and) do you not know that your life is in the hands of the king who can take it if he wishes?" It is therefore not your duty as a christian, to question whether this or that leader was annointed by God-, your duty is to submit yourself to such a king because he is God's annointed. It is God who annoints and removes kings, not man, fullstop. For that reason, David refrained from harming Saul-whom he continued to call ' my king, my father' even though he knew God had long rejected Saul and annointed him as future king of Israel. Look here, God gave Israel varieties of kings through time-good(Joseph) and bad(Herod), God fearing (Josiah) and pagan (Ahab),wise (Solomon) and foolish(Hezekiah), valiant ( David) and coward(Absolomon), repented (Ninevah King) and arrrogant (nebuchadnezzer), divine (Cyrus) and hithen(Senacharib)-for a reason: that Israel would know its sins , be punished in time to return to God -but never did he relagate the duty to question eligibility of kings to mortal man. If one rises against his king, know yee that he departs from the path of David and divine wisdom according as it it is written in the book of Isiah " test yee all spirits, whether they do according to this word..." I hope that will help.

shame - 1 October 2014

A demo does not kill people it is those that are against the demo that kill others.As for prophets conman they so the bloodshed in previous demos so its pure calculation based on history hapana prophesy apa.

hezvoko - 1 October 2014

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kwa mutare - 1 October 2014

zviri pachena kuti ava vaporofita vezanu.let no sane man listen to them anymore, Pamberi neDemo.Allow us to peacifully express ourseves.Did we say we are going to eat anybody?

MICHO HOVE - 1 October 2014

I like the bible and i like the man Joseph and Daniel,they said can a man interpret a dream or a vision, unless God give him the interpretation. It's very sad that Makandiwa's dream has been hijacked by the Zanu Pf and twisted it to fit in their pursuits,agenda and propaganda but the truth of the matter is this; The people who were seen planting seeds before the time and people they were kind of rejoicing saying zvaita, like it is the proper time and the right thing but it was not, until some bees came to protect people and others came as well and started biting people and those who were protecting them. People of Zimbabwe, this dream is about a coup. Some people have devised a plot to stage a coup but you must pray that they don't take the life of the President. After the coup, people you shall start rejoicing saying finally the president is gone but it is not like that. They shall be unrest and infighting within our top government officials and that's the beginning of civil war as Makandiwa said and Peacekeepers shall be send to Zim to protect and stop both the police and the army that would have been divided by then and fighting against each other. The most trickiest part i can say is that Morgan must be very very careful as this thing might happen within that time when people are protesting and demonstrating so much that the people behind the coup may try to finger him in this thing. Let those who have ears to hear let them hear. I know where i am coming from. Imimi vanhu of Zim i have one question for you,since when have you done a mass protest or demonstration that has triggered international peacekeepers? Zimbabweans in as much as they would like change, they are not ready to die for that change, we don't want to lose are lives through demonstrations- hanti you get my sense?? People vakangovhundutsirwa chete neriot thats it you wont see them again, it will be another flop. But when the coup thing starts, people, heads will roll.

Shona - 1 October 2014

People of Zim, i pray you see this thing wo. This infighting in Zanu is very nustier more than you are seeing on the surface. It has extended to wealth control too. Let this civil war starts and you will be shocked to see that there are people within our own borders who are ready to finance the war,who are ready to buy weapons to fight one another. You know the same story in Congo in the Arab world. Rebels they control diamond mines, oil fields, etc, and use the proceeds to sponsor the war, suddenly you shall know where the diamond money is going to.

Shona - 1 October 2014

HEY LINA HAMHUONE HERE IRIKUTAMBIKA IHONDO IRIKUDA KUTANGA , IMI MUNGAVHOTA ZANU SHUWA MUKWEROUNO, INOGONEI HAHAHAHAHAHA , MUCHABVA CHIRIKUMESO , U BETTER GO DIASPORA ZVENYU VANHUHWE KIKIKI , I FORSEE DARK DAYS FOR THAT USELESS COUNTRY

dhilizA - 1 October 2014

The basic problem is with Makandiwa himself. Haazivi zvekurota, how to handle ,and when to speak of a dream. Chiporofita chechokwadi haachizivi becoz haana Arka nhamba yedenga saka achingopaparika -paparika zvisina basa kunge mambo Pharao varikurota hura hwezviyo nemombe nhore. Ngaazvipe nguva ye'understudy' of dreamers of dreams such as Joseph, David, and Daniel. Varoti ava vaiti kana denga rataura navo nemasigns varere, vaienda pakutsanya nekunyengetera kuti jehovha avape tsananguro dzechiroto. Cherechedzai kuti Josefa akaita 3 days achitsanyira hope dzamambo Farao, Danyero akaita 3 days achitsanyira hope dzaNebuchadenezzer. Denga razotsanangura, ndopavaizotaura vachiti 'zvanzi naJehovha Mwari..." Ko murotero upi uyu unoitwa naMakandiwa kuti kungomuka, tande nenyika yese kutaura zvisina " Jehovha Mwari vati...?" Shuwa kukundwa namambo Nebuchadnezari kana Farao kuziva kuti hope ndarota zvangu asi apa ndiri kuvharwa nemeaning yacho saka regai ndibvunze 'true man of God ' for interpretation? Plus varumeka, prophets of the bible are known for being very simple, and vachitsanya nekugara murenje nguva dzose -even Jesus the greatest of them conformed to this-kudya kwemweya principle. Ko ava vanodyira mumahotera vachi famba nemagaro anowerera ari mu Mercedes Benz ndevapi ava? Nguva yekuday zvemweya vanoiwana kupi ivo vacida zvepasi rino? Hanzi Jehovha ati.....? Ko pane asingarotiwo here nhai veduwee? Kana ini madeko ndakatorotawo zuva richibuda kumabvazuva saka ndozvandingapemberere kuti ndarota kuchiyedza ? Deno Makandiwa ari umwe atendeuka atsvage Jehovha Mwari nguva ichiripo. Ityai Mwari vakomana, kunopinda vakachena kuheaven uku.

Shame - 1 October 2014

shame waparidza hama i agree with you kuti these current prophets are more concerned with riches than the work of God. They are according to Jude 4 licentious meaning that they use the name of Jesus for personal benefit.

gejo - 1 October 2014

its very interesting how people want to tell prophets what to do, what to say and how to say it are you their God. The good thing is God has already spoken through his oracle prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa and that He will not cease to be God because you choose not to believe in his vessel. I wish if the whole prophecy would be given full play on radios and television even newspapers without any editing. All these arguments you are making and the push to go ahead with striking was prophecied about, so you are rightly fulfilling the prophecy. But my question is, should masses die for the sake of one person wanting to rule. thousands and thousands dying just to make someone be a president. Zimbabwe's solution is in God's hands and the prophet said prayer will give us results. If all those commenting and putting scriptures are really for God then they know that fervent prayers of righteous man availeth much without going into the streets. unless if you have become so physical/fleshly like the Israelites when they pushed for Saul to be King when it was not yet time. Thank you prophet Makandiwa for giving such a bold prophecy to this generation that is so perverse. If everyone else chooses not to support you and this prophecy, the God that you serve shall see to it that its fulfilled in their eyes.

solution - 2 October 2014

Thank you Lord for giving us prophet Makandiwa. Nothing shall ever happen to this land without first revealing it to your servant. We have harkened to your voice.

KAYS - 2 October 2014

Ini hangu ndine one thing chinondinetsa. Maprofita enyu amazuva ano ese ane ma spiritual fathers vanobva ku West Africa. I thought their machinations were from God Almighty but hey don't be hoodwinked/. Clearly their acts are from men that bestowed them with evil power. Have you noticed how even their followers praise them instead of GOD. I know of a young man from Goromonzi who grew up in the Salvation Army who went to a Nigerian mountain with the intention of being bestowed with the same powers that Magaya and Makandiwa have but made it back home in a body bag. There is clearly more to what these men of satan are doing than meets the eye. The other problem is that Zimbabweans are so gullible such that anything that they don't understand, they tend to be attracted to it more and more. The bible is very clear on the issue of prophets especially false ones. He who has ears let him hear.

pedzi - 2 October 2014

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