MDCs must attend national events in party regalia


GWERU — Former Midlands governor and Zanu PF politibuto member, Cephas Msipa, has challenged the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formations to attend national events in their party regalia, saying no one will victimise them.

Report by Stephen Chadenga

Msipa was responding to inquiries from the Southern Eye why Zanu PF members had attended Heroes’ Day celebrations in their party regalia at the provincial shrine, in Gweru, on Monday since it was not a party event. This followed complaints from the MDC members that they felt intimidated.

Msipa said events such as the heroes’ commemorations were meant for all Zimbabweans regardless of political affiliation and that if the MDCs had gone to the provincial acre wearing party attire and were intimidated, he was going to be the first to defend them.

“It is unfortunate that they (MDCs) have chosen to boycott the event,” Msipa said.

“This is a national event and everyone is free to come and honour those who sacrificed their lives for the political emancipation of this country.

“Our Zanu PF youths are in a jovial mood and you cannot stop them from wearing the party regalia on such a day.”

The former governor claimed that MDC supporters would not have had a problem if they had attended the function, despite simmering tensions following last month’s polls. Zanu PF won, but the MDCs allege massive fraud.

“These are national events and not party ones and if their supporters were going to be intimidated here, I was going to be the first to defend them,” he said.

Msipa said by boycotting national events, the MDCs were isolating themselves when they should be part of the celebrations. The MDC formations led by Welshman Ncube and Morgan Tsvangirai on Monday did not attend Heroes’ Day commemorations held across the country.

In the past, they have accused Zanu PF of turning national commemorations into party events.