State-Owned Paper Accuses U.S. of ‘Showing Hand’ in Destabilisation

Cape Town — The Herald, the state-owned newspaper in Zimbabwe, has carried an opinion piece saying that the United States’s latest travel advisory is not about travel: rather, it “has everything to do with politics and US foreign policy against Zimbabwe”.

The opinion piece, which does not carry a byline and is headlined “US shows hand in potential destabilisation of Zimbabwe… foreign-instigated demonstrations afoot”, says the advisory portrays Zimbabwe as an unsafe destination for investors and tourists alike.

The article says: “Wow! … it gives Zimbabwean authorities a sneak peek into the evil machinations intended to destabilise Zimbabwe through demonstrations via the usual Trojan Horses, the opposition and the motley host of anti-Zimbabwe civil society organisations.”

The US and other super powers are accused of sponsoring civil society organisations, which are said to foment civil unrest.

The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CZC), the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) and the MDC-Alliance are accused of “evil machinations”.

“The travel warning by the US should be read as a threat to Harare that acts of civil disobedience and violent demonstrations are afoot.”

The MDC-Alliance is said to have indicated that “soon after its elective congress (if ever it happens), will roll out a wave of mass protests”.

The MDC-Alliance is planning a Sudan in Harare, the article says.

In a separate article, Lawson Mabhena, News and Politics Editor, writes that a group of “shady” organisations from Zimbabwe with links to the opposition MDC-Alliance has been laying the groundwork for civil unrest.

The article claims foreign organisations are coordinating workshops and training in Zimbabwe, the region and overseas to effect illegal regime change.

“According to information at hand, the organisations are seeking to unleash a wave of violent demonstrations beginning next month, with ring leaders of civil unrest having received training in the Czech Republic and the Maldives.”

The article names the Center for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies (CANVAS) as training trained MDC activists who were involved in the coordination of the January 14 to 16 violent protests.

“Eight local activists, including a multimedia journalist from NewsDay, are attending the programme and will be instrumental in training and instigating mayhem to be rolled out in June. The eight are drawn from civic organisations which include Women’s Academy for Leadership and Political Excellency, Centre for Community Development, Trust Africa, Rozaria Memorial Trust, and Community Tolerance and Reconciliation Trust.”

The article says it sources its information from documents leaked from MDC leader Nelson Chamisa’s office.

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