‘Irresponsible leaders and their unruly hooligans’ responsible for election violence: Zim minister

Supporters of Zimbabwean opposition MDC Alliance take part in a protest in Harare, Zimbabwe on August 1, 2018, as protests erupted over alleged fraud in the country's election. Police on Thursday confirmed that the death toll in clashes between the protesters and security authorities had reached six.
Supporters of Zimbabwean opposition MDC Alliance take part in a protest in Harare, Zimbabwe on August 1, 2018, as protests erupted over alleged fraud in the country's election. Police on Thursday confirmed that the death toll in clashes between the protesters and security authorities had reached six.
Image: Luis TATO / AFP

Zimbabwean tourism minister Priscah Mupfumira said on Thursday that “irresponsible leaders and their unruly hooligans” should be held accountable for the death of innocent people on the street of Harare on Wednesday.

Zimbabwean police reported that six people were killed when the military clashed with MDC Alliance supporters who had barricaded the city’s main streets during a protest to demand the immediate release of the presidential results for the country’s watershed elections that took place on Monday.

Mupfumira’s aunt‚ Sylvia Maposa‚ was one of those killed. She was killed in crossfire during the clashes‚ which took place in the capital city on Wednesday.

Sylvia Maposa
Sylvia Maposa

Mupfumira was speaking to SowetanLIVE after attending Maposa’s memorial service in Chinhoyi.

“The issue here isn’t who was killed‚ but who are the irresponsible leaders who incited the unrest. The world must know who the people are who ordered their supporters to go on the streets and cause havoc‚” she said.

Mupfumira added that some MDC Alliance leaders have been encouraging their supporters to riot for no reason.

“It is very sad that innocent people were caught in crossfire. These irresponsible leaders must answer [as to] why they called their supporters to demonstrate‚ yet the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is still within its legal time frame for announcing presidential results. That must be condemned‚” she said.

Mupfumira said the family found out about Maposa’s death when a photo of a woman fitting her description and pictured in the dress she was wearing on Wednesday started circulating through social media.

Mupfumira claims that the rioters were fed with drugs and alcohol at MDC Alliance headquarters‚ and there was video footage to support her allegation.

“The irresponsible utterances have caused the people to go to the streets. We have seen their unruly hooligans involved in the destruction of property and looting. They are forcing young people to go on the streets instead of waiting‚ like all of us‚ for ZEC to announce the official results.

“Any responsible leader will know that the results won’t be announced until all the agents have verify them and satisfied themselves with the process.”

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