Opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change, on Friday said his supporters will no longer fold their hands when attacked by ruling Zanu-PF activists.
Speaking in Alaska, Chinhoyi, Tsvangirai said he was tired of the police taking sides with Zanu-PF supporters, adding it was time his supporters learnt to give back in equal measure what they have been getting over the years from President Robert Mugabe’s party.
Tsvangirai castigated what he said was a hired Zanu-PF crowd that was singing near the venue of his rally saying this was a known Zanu-PF way of intimidating and instilling fear in opposition supporters with the tacit support of the police.
“Circumstances sometimes dictate behavior,” said Tsvangirai. “The police are supposed to uphold peaceful co-existence; peaceful political activity – that’s what the constitution says but they are taking sides with Zanu-PF in these issues.”
He continued: “If members of the MDC were to take the law into their own hands and also retaliate then all hell will break loose and we don’t want that. But they are sowing seed for disturbance and chaos.”
Zanu-PF supporters tried to disrupt the MDC-T rally by holding their own meeting less than 100 meters from the MDC-T’s venue.
Anti-riot police had to be deployed to avert potential political violence as the two groups chanted against each other.
Tsvangirai’s stance on retaliating when attacked was backed by the MDC-T national youth leader, Happymore Chidziva Gondo who said no-one has a monopoly to the use of violence.
Away from the violence, Tsvangirai said his party will work with anyone who wants to see the back of Zanu-PF come 2018.
He encouraged his supporters to register as voters ahead of the crucial 2018 polls saying this is the only way they can remove Zanu-PF from office.
“The MDC-T is the only party that has solutions to the country’s crises,” the founding MDC leader said.
He chided Mr. Mugabe saying he can sign as many Memorandums of Understanding with as many countries as possible but said that will not change his political fortunes on the ground or the country’s economic outlook.