PM Tsvangirai says violence on the rise
By MacDonald Dzirutwe
HARARE (Reuters) – Political violence is on the increase in Zimbabwe and
supporters of President Robert Mugabe and state security agents are to
blame, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said on Wednesday.
“It appears the demons of violence are back, a siege mood seems to be slowly
gripping the country,” Tsvangirai told a monthly media briefing.
On Tuesday, anti-riot police sealed the offices of Tsvangirai’s Movement for
Democratic Change party (MDC), firing tear gas into the building and at
bystanders in central Harare.
“The state security agents have instituted a coup over the civilian
authority and they are now above the law, to the extent of disrupting
government programmes and assaulting civilians with impunity,” Tsvangiri
Incidents of political violence decreased after Mugabe and Tsvangirai formed
a unity government more than two years ago following a disputed election in
2008, but talk of a possible election next year has reignited tensions.
Police have in the past few weeks disrupted Tsvangirai’s rallies in the
western Matabeleland region where the MDC won the majority of parliamentary
seats in 2008.
On Saturday, militants from Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party disrupted an MDC rally
organised by a minister jointly responsible for police affairs. ZANU-PF
denies engaging in violence and instead accuses MDC supporters of provoking
“The violence we are witnessing is state-sponsored and state-driven. It is
being championed by a few fascist leaders who want to reverse the little
progress we have made,” Tsvangirai said.
“The country is at a high risk of imploding if some in the leadership
continue to be privately abetting lawlessness while publicly preaching
Tsvangirai said Mugabe had assured him during a weekly meeting on Tuesday
that the issue of violence would be dealt with. He gave no further details.
In September Mugabe called for an end to violence in a speech to parliament.
While the 87-year-old leader was speaking, ZANU-PF supporters attacked MDC
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