By Staff Reporter
MDC youth assembly secretary general Lovemore Chinoputsa says former President Robert Mugabe’s regime bashed and incarcerated opposition politicians and anti-government activists but was still gentle enough not send soldiers to kill his adversaries.
He was giving oral evidence this past week during the ongoing hearing by the Commission of Inquiry into the August 1 post-election violence that saw the military open fire on protesters and by-standers in central Harare, killing six in the process.
The probe team is expected to present its report within three months.
In his comments, Chinoputsa said he personally led protests against the ousted leader’s rule before but has never come across an incident in which he had to dodge army bullets in the streets.
The MDC youth leader further said it was within context that the military that overthrew Mugabe found itself August 1 invading the streets to defend its rule in the most ruthless of ways.
“I have fought the Mugabe regime ever since I was a teenager but the beauty about the Mugabe regime was that you would know that you would be beaten up, you would go to jail, you would go to court. He would use the police,” Chinoputsa said.
“But now we are in for rude awakening. The new boys in town are literally the military people in this country and they have defined their own way of doing things.
“The military came in, removed a very powerful man by the name Robert Mugabe.”
Chinoputsa said the army was being used by the current Emmerson Mnangagwa regime “to make life difficult for everyone”.
“We now have the military that has begun to form part of the government of the day. So, there is no distinction as to whether they have really left the barracks or they are still in the barracks,” he said.
He was referring to former military commanders Constantino Chiwenga who, as Defence Forces top commander, led Mugabe’s ouster while Sibusiso Moyo, now Foreign Affairs Minister, is regarded as the face of the coup, having been the one who boldly went on television cameras to announce the dramatic incident.