Zimbabwean opposition party Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), led by former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, said on Wednesday that it was not apologetic for associating with genuine war veterans in the country.
The MDC said it had deep respect for the revolutionary struggle that brought about Zimbabwe’s independence from Britain in 1980.
In a statement on Wednesday, the MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu said Zanu PF’s attack of revolutionary icons such as the late struggle hero General Solomon Mujuru, through the publication of malicious and misleading articles, were uncalled for.
The struggle hero was the husband of former deputy president Joice Mujuru.
Zimbabwe’s 92-year-old President Robert Mugabe fired his deputy in December 2014 alleging that she was plotting to assassinate him.
Mujuru, a former liberation fighter, has since formed her own political party – Zimbabwe People First. At the weekend she appeared at a rally with MDC leader Tsvangirai, which sparked criticism from ruling party proponents and state media.
Gutu said the continued harassment of the former liberation war fighters by the ruling Zanu PF, which has seen the arrest of war veteran leaders Victor Matemadanda and Douglas Mahiya, would not be allowed to go unchallenged.
“Whilst the MDC has got absolutely no brief for both Matemadanda and Mahiya, we are a political party that tenaciously and resolutely believes in the rule of law, as opposed to the rule by the law,” said Gutu.
“Thus, the MDC shall continue to denounce the continued and uncalled for harassment of all genuine war veterans by the beleaguered and faction-ridden Zanu PF regime.”
Gutu said assertions by Zanu PF that the MDC and the late General Mujuru were agents of the West were false and frivolous.
“We would like to make it abundantly clear that the MDC is a lawfully registered and legitimate political party that has always advocated for peaceful, democratic change in Zimbabwe,” said Gutu.
“We are a party that is firmly rooted in Zimbabwe, and we shall continue to fearlessly push forward a Zimbabwe-centred agenda until the corrupt and bankrupt Zanu PF regime is lawfully and constitutionally removed from power.”
Gutu said war veterans, like every other Zimbabwean, were protected from abuse by the Bill of Rights contained in Chapter 4 of the constitution.
“The MDC will never, ever celebrate the unlawful harassment and imprisonment of any Zimbabwean citizen, regardless of race, colour, creed or political affiliation. We are a modern day and progressive political party that believes in the respect and upholding of the fundamental human rights of all citizens of Zimbabwe,” he said.
Gutu said the MDC led by Tsvangirai would not be swayed by the Zanu PF mudslinging from achieving its goals of creating a free and democratic Zimbabwe.
– African News Agency (ANA)