HARARE - War Veterans minister Chris Mutsvangwa has threatened to sue police after its anti-riot ruthlessly put down their demonstration in support of embattled Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa against First Lady Grace Mugabe in Harare yesterday.
Police fired teargas and used water cannons to disperse a handful of war veterans planning a march on the ruling party’s headquarters.
Police spokesperson Charity Charamba told the Daily News that the group of war veterans was supposed to have given a seven-day notice before the demonstration.
“No one is above the law,” she said. “ZRP is there to uphold the law. It’s the country’s law they broke, so I don’t see on which grounds they will be suing us.
“They did not even go through the regulatory authority, they had no venue, and in fact they wanted to bulldoze the City Sports Centre.
“So we will not sit and watch people disregarding the law and the honourable minister should know this.
“Section 219 charges us to maintain law and order without fear or favour. So we will be happy to see what grounds they will use to sue us. In fact failure to give notice is a criminal offence.”
Mutsvangwa claimed the police had transgressed the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
“This is a monstrosity which borders on sacrilege which we saw today to see war veterans being beaten by the police. What are we doing? We want an audience with our patron (President Mugabe),” Mutsvangwa fumed.
“We are being victimised but this is what we fought for: freedom of expression and movement. Now it’s being abridged.
“Naturally, we now want to go to the courts; we thought the party (Zanu PF) will play fair with us. We thought the government will play fair with us but clearly somebody is in dereliction of duty.”
Mutsvangwa claimed there was a third hand at play.
“We have been seeing tribalism cropping up, young people being made to chant slogans…dangerous and evil forces and a professor who cares for nothing but his own ambitions for power are at the centre of it all and he needs to be checked.
“This is a man who will stop at nothing to lie, to extrapolate ... his background, to claim to be a revolutionary when he was a deserter…..just yesterday he was saying ‘handei tione’ on his twitter.
“So he was anticipating this violence. So I assume the (police) inspector in Bulawayo and the inspector in Harare were probably listening and getting orders from Jonathan (Moyo) ...he has become executive, he does not need to be elected. He anoints himself.
“He has the occult of Mandi Chimene (who last week replaced Mutsvangwa as Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association chairman) to make sure that the people of Zimbabwe accept an incestuous relationship between the occult and someone who has no basis except for a mystical belief in himself — a professor consorting with the occult.”
He added: “This is a shock to war veterans and we appeal to them to remain calm.”
Mutsvangwa could not state how many war veterans were injured during yesterday’s running battles but appealed for assistance.
“Some are scared, they can’t understand... Today the state machinery visited people who were at best armed with a cell phone, not even with knives like those of Marikana, just a cellphone…they were at best attacked for the intention of violence but you don’t use violence to stop violence.”