HARARE – Zimbabwe’s main opposition party, MDC which is headed by Mr. Nelson Chamisa has protested President Yoweri Museveni visit whom they claim is terrorizing own citizens.
Mr. Museveni on Thursday evening left the country for Zimbabwe to officiate at the 60th Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) this week in Bulawayo, the second largest city in the South African country.
Mr. Museveni who is on the invitation of counterpart Emmerson Mnangagwa landed in animosity from the country’s opposition leaders who are indifferent towards the Uganda’s long serving leader.
“I don’t understand why [President] Mnangagwa chose [President] Museveni to trade with him. Perhaps it’s a way of confirming his belonging to the dictators’ club because [Mr.] Museveni’s behaviour in his own county leaves a lot to be desired,” Mr. Chamisa said at press conference in Harare.
He added: “The choice of friends defines the man’s character and we are worried that [Mr.] Mnangagwa invited Mr. Museveni at a time when he is terrorising his own opposition.”
Mr. Chamisa pointed out Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu whom he claimed was being ‘terrorised’ by Mr. Museveni back in Uganda.
“He has been arrested several times. That kind of behaviour is not acceptable on the African continent. We don’t take it lightly whenever dictators come in cahoots or in unison. We have an obligation to fight them,” he said.
The singer turned vocal critic of long serving Museveni had his house surrounded by police and the military since Easter Monday barring him from leaving the residence.
Police claimed the measure was part of a preventive arrest.
In the same line, Zimbabwe’s former Education Minister David Coltart has also derided Mr. Mnangagwa for his choice of Mr. Museveni labelling it ‘inappropriate’.
However, the ruling government has defended Mr. Museveni’s invite, describing him as a legitimate with an unquestionable status among the international organisations.
“There is no measurement to dictatorship; [Mr.] Museveni has won the presidential seat through elections. Therefore, there is no evidence to this dictatorship claim,” the government spokesperson said.
“We have to hear from him when he comes. He has quite a lot to share with us. The ZITF is a showcase of what companies and various government departments are doing in trying to achieve the national vision of achieving Middle Income Economy by 2030,” he added.
Mr. Museveni last month faced the same wrath in neighboring Kenya as rowdy Kenyatta University students accused him of the same.
Kenyan Police were forced to lob tear gas canisters at rowdy students who were shouting pro-Bobi Wine chants outside a building where Museveni was giving a public lecture.
The chants continued throughout Mr. Museveni’s address eventually prompting police officers to intervene by throwing teargas canisters at the students to clear the way for Mr. Museveni’s when he was done giving his lecture.