Opposition political parties have accused President Emmerson Mnangagwa of seeking to instil fear in the electorate ahead of the July 30 harmonised elections. This follows reports that Mnangagwa will be meeting with National Youth Service graduates, popularly referred to as Green Bombers. The Green Bombers have in the past been accused of perpetrating violence to ensure Zanu-PF’s victory in previous elections.
MDC Alliance spokesperson Welshman Ncube said,
There is always a reason to be fearful where Zanu PF begins to meet with institutions or groups that have been used in the past for coercion and intimidation…If anything, the President must have moved to dismantle that whole group. These youths were used as Zanu PF stormtroopers and activating them a week before elections should be a cause for concern.
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Deputy president of the Thokozani Khupe led MDC-T, Obert Gutu said,
It’s not a coincidence that Mnangagwa is meeting this terror group on the eve of an election. It is meant to invoke sordid memories of the Green Bombers’ activities, especially in 2008. Mnangagwa’s meeting with this Zanu PF hit squad is meant to ignite fear and remind the populace of its existence.
Coalition of Democrats (Code) presidential candidate, Elton Mangoma added,
Obviously, there is cause for alarm if perpetrators of violence get this kind of treatment from the top. We had asked for peace pledges from the army, police, intelligence and the militia. Without that, they are p aying a double game.