BY Staff Reporter
EX-FINANCE Minister Tendai Biti’s party has slammed the deployment of soldiers to assist police in operations aimed at driving out vendors in Harare by the new Emmerson Mnangagwa government.
Police were last month banished from the country’s streets when the military moved to seize control of government from then President Robert Mugabe.
With resentment towards the law enforcers still high, government has deployed soldiers to help them carry out their duties, something which has been condemned by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
PDP said the march that was staged by citizens, among them vendors, in solidarity with the army last month was being misinterpreted by the country’s new rulers.
“In less than a fortnight the new administration has misinterpreted the dislike of a police state for a desire for a military state,” said the party in a statement.
“They have misinterpreted the dislike for police brutality as a desire for military brutality.”
PDP added: “Zimbabweans who flanked the soldiers and their tanks during the march were expressing their search for a new contract with those in power and with power itself.
“Sadly the deployment of soldiers against the vendors today is a betrayal of that narrative.”
Biti’s party said the new government was squandering the small confidence it was beginning to enjoy from a distressed citizenry.
“When the vendors marched against Mugabe they were giving an opportunity to whoever would succeed him the opportunity to create jobs and create a better working environment for small businesses to operate.
“It is a fundamental issue, vendors are not in the streets by choice anyone who has the people at heart must address the foundation not the symptoms.”
Addressing a pass out parade of 590 recruits at Battlefields in Mhondoro Ngezi recently, the Commander Zimbabwe National Army Lieutenant General Phillip Valerio Sibanda called on the national army to be disciplined and to desist from harassing citizens.