Zimbabwe’s President, Robert Mugabe, has reportedly confirmed his participation in a special summit of the South African development community (SADC) to discuss the political situation in Zimbabwe. Mugabe has come under intense international criticism following a crackdown on the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). Sources say President Mugabe will brief SADC leaders at the special summit about a series of attacks on ordinary Zimbabweans, which the government believes were orchestrated by the MDC.
Professor Eliphas Mukonoweshuro is the MDC general secretary for international affairs. He tells the Voice of America via telephone from Harare that SADC must realize the Zimbabwean problem is that of governance.
“The MDC hopes that SADC will now realize the gravity of the crisis in Zimbabwe and that it is an issue of governance and that it is time that they talked to President Mugabe and his associate to ensure that this crisis is brought to an end. It is not a crisis about the land issue, it is a crisis of governance,” Mukonoweshuro said.
He said Zimbabweans are fed up with what he described as bad governance.
“Zimbabweans now, are people who are experiencing every shortage except misery, which is in abundance. And Zimbabweans are now saying that they have had enough, and Zimbabweans at the present do not need to be organized by anybody. We are saying that that is an issue which no Zimbabwean has to be told about,” he pointed out.
Mukonoweshuro said the police are just doing what he descried as the bidding of the ruling party.
“The duty of the police is to arrest people who have transgressed the law, not to act as the judge, the jury, and the prosecutor. Mr. Mugabe is on record as saying that the police have got the legitimate right to play all those roles saying that the police are entitled to beat up people,” he said.
Mukonoweshuro dismissed accusations leveled against the MDC by President Mugabe that the MDC instigates violence.
“The violence that President Mugabe is talking about is instigated by a very politicized police, a police force that has become the organ of his party ZANU-PF. Anybody that has watched any encounter between the police and the Zimbabweans would realize that the police do not concern themselves with arresting people. They jump out of the trucks and start beating up people,” he pointed out.
He said supporters of the MDC could only defend themselves from what he described as police brutality.
“The MDC and the generality of the people of Zimbabwe simply have to defend themselves. As I’m talking to you, we had a memorial service for a member who was murdered by the police. As we were dispersing, a national executive member was abducted by the Central Intelligence Organization, beaten up, and left on the wayside for dead. We are now trying to arrange to pick him up from where he has been dumped and ensure that he gets adequate medical treatment,” he said.