The MDC-Alliance sponsored so-called shutdown that left a trail of destruction of property and loss of life last month was part of the regime change agenda wrought against the country for the past 18 years, President Mnangagwa has said.

Further, the Head of State and Government and Commander in Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces said the shutdown which degenerated into violent protests was pre-planned and well organised by MDC Alliance with the support of some non-governmental organisations.

In an interview with a French television station France24 on the sidelines of the 32th Ordinary Session of the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia over the weekend, President Mnangagwa challenged anyone with evidence of the alleged rape victims to come forward with it.

“Regime change is the better word. It is a regime change agenda which is not new, which has been a phenomenon visiting Zimbabwe throughout the past 18 years,” said President Mnangagwa.

“We are now so satisfied that this thing was pre-determined, pre-planned and well-oiled by both local NGOs who are well funded, but also the opposition MDC-Alliance whose theme even throughout the campaign for our general elections last year said that as long as they do not win this election, in Shona they said, ‘We will put jecha musadza’; meaning that they will put sand into the food. So this is consistent with that they have been saying throughout.”

Asked on the allegations of rape and the death of 17 people that was awash on the social media, President Mnangagwa said: “With regards to the allegations of rape, we have through the print media, radio and TV appealed to those victims to come forward and report to the nearest police station. If you are not comfortable with reporting to the police station, you can go to the nearest church and report the abuse you underwent. We have only one single case that has come up in Chitungwiza.

“We now know that the women who were paraded were just a make up by some organisations and some of the women have now left the country. They have been shipped to the UK. The few who are still there are being moved from house to house and we are trying to track them down.

“It’s all stage-managed. We are challenging anybody local or foreign to produce the women so that the world can see them and say this is what happened. We would want to see those. With regards to the other issue you mentioned about the beatings, you said judicial killings, this is where the army is directly and purposefully killing people. We would want to see the evidence.

“We see all this on social media but we would want to see the 17 people killed, where they were buried? Let us have relatives who will say I lost a son, I lost a daughter, I lost a cousin at the hands of the army. I am not saying the army did not over step their powers. It is possible individually.”

President Mnangagwa said although he was not aware of the involvement of foreign powers in the so-called shutdown, he was aware of money that had come from outside to fund workshops and train members of the opposition.

“I am not aware of the involvement of foreign powers,” said President Mnangagwa.

“I have never accused any foreign power. We are fully aware of funds that have come to NGOs operating in our country. I am also now aware of people who came to do workshops and training of our people in the opposition.”

President Mnangagwa said Government had already submitted the names of the foreign nationals who came to conduct the workshops and training of opposition supporters to their respective embassies.Chronicle