AMID deafening sabre-rattling from the country’s opposition parties, Western embassies and civil society organisations that want to subvert the will of the people on July 31, Zanu PF yesterday vowed to defend the prevailing peace saying Zimbabweans should form the first line of defence if anyone violates their rights.

In a press briefing yesterday in Harare, the party’s acting spokesperson Cde Patrick Chinamasa chronicled the history of violence in the MDC Alliance that is as old as the Western sponsored party itself.

The litany of violence involving the MDC has often resulted in the needless loss of life, damage to property, as was the case when it dawned on the opposition that it was facing an electoral rout in the 2018 elections and again in January 2019 when the opposition merchants of violence went on an orgy of violence and destruction, Cde Chinamasa said.

This time around, the protests are being planned when the country is facing the novel Covid-19 pandemic.

In Zimbabwe, more than 2 500 people have tested positive with 34 deaths and the Government, in response to the fast spreading pandemic, has introduced a raft of measures that include limiting movements and public gatherings to curb its spread.

However, in total disregard to the dark cloud cast by the novel pandemic, the violent opposition, that failed to get power through legal means, now want to get into power through unsanctioned protests that not only threaten the existing peace, but also put people lives at risk, Cde Chinamasa said.

Cde Chinamasa said while Zimbabwean found themselves at the mercy of the opposition in 2018 and 2019, this time they have to defend themselves in cases where the law enforcement agents are not available.

“The MDC is seeking to win and gain through violence what they failed to win through elections.

“They hope that the fake news which they are spewing out on social media will sway the population in the direction of destruction of their own country. Never and never again.

“Zanu PF appeals to our people to desist from following the path of subversive machinations aimed at destabilising our beautiful and peaceful country. We encourage our people to continue to observe the lockdown measures as announced by President Mnangagwa.

“Finally, Zanu PF calls upon our structures to remain alert and ready to defend themselves, defend our people, their property and most importantly, defend peace in their communities against these malcontents, hired hooligans and hoodlums who rejoice at burning properties and looting.

“Indeed, Zanu PF unambiguously reminds our people that self-defence is a right especially when your security is under threat from these violent so called protesters. As long as Zanu PF is the ruling party, I reiterate that violence will never be permitted to revisit our societies the manner it turned out on August 1 and 14 to 16 January 2019,” said Cde Chinamasa.