The return of the season of protests: Trouble for ED…as conspiracy theories about the MDC-Alliance demo pop up, but can he act foolishly?
President Emmerson Mnangagwa (ED) is on record to have summoned his Central Intelligence Operatives (CIOs) to square off with human rights activists and opposition party members on social media.
He charged the CIOs not to be defeated in social media war.
Mnangagwa directed his CIOs; “Tambai navo musocial media imomo, musakundwa musocial media. Pindai musocial media morakasha vanhu.” (Square off with them on social media, do not be defeated in that arena. Get busy on social media and thrash the opposition).
His command has been heeded, his CIOs are very active on social media, most of them using fake accounts like Matigary, Jones Musara, Tafara Shumba, Bully Mafiya, and the likes, joining the crusade are Nick Mangwana, Energy Mutodi, and a host others.
These characters have since been peddling theories and conspiracies regarding the forthcoming MDC-Alliance demonstration set for 16 August 2019.
The lot has been casted. Some of the theories and conspiracies coming out include that, all the Generation 40 brains (Jonathan Moyo, Saviour Kasukuwere, Nicholas Goche, etc,) are in town planning a coup hidden behind the demo banner, ZANU-PF internal fights going to use the demo to impeach Mnangagwa, MDC-Alliance to burn property, and cause anarchy.
But former minister and G40 kingpin Jonathan Moyo says the conspiracies being peddled by Mnangagwa’s social media team are idiotic and a revelation that he is in fear of impeachment, with all fingers pointing to an internal ZANU-PF fight.
Mnangagwa has maintained relative silence, as of now, indicating two possibilities, either he is cornered or is planning something sinister. But can he act foolishly? The best he could do at the moment is to stop the demo, than to fire a bullet, the world is watching him with keen interest. To add to the eyes watching him is the SADC meeting coming the day after the demo thus 17 August 2019.
Just like the 2016 season of protests, that signalled former president Robert Mugabe’s downfall, Mnangagwa is more likely to face the same fate.
The odds seem to be against him, just as what happened during Mugabe’s last days in power.
Mnangagwa has the unyielding economy to deal with, he has G40 members to deal with, he has the Constantino Chiwenga team to deal with, he has the disgruntled former CIOs to deal with, he has disgruntled police members to deal with, and on the other hand, he has Nelson Chamisa deal with.
As it stands, Mnangagwa is at knife edge the same spot that Mugabe was in 2016. The masses are also against him, and any planned call for protests is expected to find many buyers, many are willing to take part.
The Chiwenga team is also one of the most key faction that will give Mnangagwa a torrid time. They are not happy that their boss was poisoned, even if Chiwenga is to succumb, the team would either join Chamisa’s or join the G40 against Mnangagwa.
Will he let the demo go on? To this question he has two options, either stop the demo, or let it proceed, but with infiltrators on board.
Judging from history, ZANU-PF has been known of planting elements in opposition planned demonstrations, as a way to either stop the demos beforehand, or to attack and kill civilians using the army and police, by purportedly use of minimum force.
Meanwhile, Norton independent legislator Temba Mliswa believes that if Mnangagwa let the demo to go on, he would have exhibited tolerance and democracy at its best. He added that despite the speculations going on regarding the demo, a culture of peace must prevail.
“There is a lot of speculation surrounding the motive of the impending MDC-Alliance demo. What is clear is was constitutionally applied for and notice acknowledged.
“What is important is that it should be peaceful and people’s property, rights and the right to or not to participate should be respected,” said Mliswa via a microblog.
Renowned political analyst Pedzisai Ruhanya agrees and adds that the opposition should guard against infiltrators.
“It appears ZANU-PF is crafting a sneaky, covet disruptive operation against MDC 16 August 2019 protest to discredit the MDC at the SADC meeting on 17 August 2019 in Tanzania. Its doubled edged strategy also meant to incite Magufuli to ban opposition and civil society!” He says.
MDC-Alliance security measures, to guard against any infiltrators, the MDC-Alliance national spokesperson, Daniel Molokele said the party has put in place security measures to identify malcontents, and deal with them according to the law.
In a statement, he said no stone has been left untouched to ensure that the people’s Free Zimbabwe march is going to be most peaceful one ever witnessed in the country.
“In particular, hundreds of peace marshals will be deployed. Further, digital cameras will be used to film the entire march to ensure that any violent planted elements trying to disrupt the peaceful march will be fully recorded,” he said.
Meanwhile, it now remains to be seen if the police will give a greenlight for the march to proceed.
With the police yet to respond to the application by MDC-Alliance to carry-out the demo, Minister of Home Affairs Cain Mathema, has since issued a statement implying the demo should be stopped.
“While the police is yet to officially respond to the notifications, submitted by the opposition, the situation on the ground indicate there is a lot of machinations under the guise of ‘peaceful demonstrations’ taking place with the aim of formenting violence, destruction of property, attacks on innocent people, vehicles, government buildings,…,” he said.