Zimbabwe warns MDC of bloodshed

Zimbabwe's ruling party has warned the opposition that anti-government street protests could lead to bloodshed.

    Mugabe has not hesitated to crack down on protesters

    The warning, reported in the Herald newspaper, came a day after Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), told reporters that his opposition party was formulating a plan for resistance.
       
    Tsvangirai had urged Zimbabweans at a party congress last weekend to save food and money before what he called a "cold season of peaceful democratic resistance" to end the 26-year rule of Robert Mugabe, the president.
        
    Mugabe's Zanu-PF party said in a statement: "Those who reject the legal and democratic way of running the government and choose confrontation will be confronted by the long arm of the law. 
       
    "Zanu-PF alone has the gruelling experience of war, and strongly urges the armchair talkers to shut up. War is not like a picnic or a dinner party, it is blood, sweat, injuries and death."
        
    Growing discontent
      

    "Those who reject the legal and democratic way of running the government and choose confrontation will be confronted ... Zanu-PF urges the armchair talkers to shut up

    "

    Zanu-PF party statement

    Although Zimbabweans have largely been cowed by Mugabe's routine deployment of riot police to crush street protests in recent years, a crumbling economy has increased public frustration with the government, political analysts say.
       
    The southern African nation is short of food, fuel and foreign currency, unemployment is above 70% and the inflation rate is the world's highest.
       
    The MDC, formed in 1999, says Mugabe has rigged elections since 2000 to avoid defeat in the face of an economic disaster many blame on his mismanagement.
       
    Mugabe dismisses the MDC as a puppet of Britain, its former colonial ruler, which he says has tried to sabotage Zimbabwe's economy to punish the government for its seizure of white-owned farms for blacks.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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