Zanu-PF threatens retribution for MDC 'harassment'
Zimbabwe security minister Didymus Mutasa stood outside the Harare headquarters of Zanu-PF yesterday, Thursday, and threatened violent revenge for the humiliation that President Mugabe endured both inside and outside parliament this week.
Referring to those Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) supporters who heckled the President when he arrived to open parliament, and to the MPs who jeered during his speech, Mutasa said: "They know what we are capable of doing, and they should not cry foul when we deliver that blow as symbolised by the party's symbol of a fist."
His open call for revenge is an indication of how deeply Mugabe and his Zanu-PF colleagues were hurt by the unprecedented scenes in parliament, when for the first time the President faced open ridicule, and the entire episode was broadcast on national television.
Mutasa told his audience: "It was a painful experience to watch our president, your president, being subjected to that kind of treatment. We know that you were as pained as your leadership and there should be some recourse for that kind of behaviour. We will do all we can to feed you, so you will be strong when you hit back."
He said that Mugabe, who was expected to appear himself but failed to do so, would personally give guidance on the nature and form of the retribution.
"I cannot speak about the things that will be done," he said. "But...what we are working on now is a strategy that can see us revenging for that episode."
The people of Zimbabwe are only too aware of the steps Zanu-PF and its fearsome militia can take. During the run-up to the recent farcical election hundreds of MDC supporters were attacked, beaten, driven from their homes, and murdered.
Observers believe that Mutasa is openly threatening more of the same.