Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa says he holds the leadership of Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance responsible for Wednesday’s violence in the capital Harare following the announcement of the results of the National Assembly elections.
He says the opposition party aided and abetted the chaos that erupted.
At least three people have been killed in the battles between the police and protestors.
Mnangagwa says the violence has taken the government by surprise.
“The Alliance and its leadership has forthwith to remove its violent supporters from the streets so peace returns to our country. In asking them to take this necessary step, government is simply reminding them of their duties as citizens. In any electoral process, it is understood that some win and some lose, but those who lose should not translate their disappointment into hooliganism.”
Spokesperson for the MDC Doctor Nkululeko Sibanda says the party condemns the violence.
“On behalf of the president, this message can’t be clearer. We condemn violence in all its forms. My experience in this country is that when you have peaceful demonstrations the state wants to repress those demonstrations. They will send people who will pretend to be your supporters and they will start up the violence and gives them an excuse to react offhandedly and I think that this is one of those things that we are experiencing.”
Meanwhile, the ZANU-PF party says it does not see any need to engage with the MDC Alliance leadership on the violence.
Secretary for Legal Affairs within the party, Paul Mangwana has called the violent protests criminal acts that need urgent attention from law enforcers.
He says they are not in a position to engage with criminals, but will focus on re-building the country and grow the economy.
“We have not seen the basis of any engagement. They are being criminals and breaking the law. You cannot negotiate with criminals. They will be dealt with by the law enforcement agencies. There is nothing on the table to negotiate. We can’t negotiate results of an election that has not been concluded completely. So, we don’t have an agenda of any negotiations.”