Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa's government has blamed recent abductions of activists and opposition members on enemies linked to former president Robert Mugabe’s establishment.
Image: REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo
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Harare says the recent abductions of civic society activists and MDC Alliance members ahead of planned protests for Friday are the work of enemies linked to former president Robert Mugabe’s establishment. 

In a statement, the ministry of information, publicity and broadcasting services said the alleged violations were committed by a "force comprised of discharged and disgruntled former members of the old establishment, of whom some are trained".

The Zimbabwe government claims the "third force’s" intentions were to soil President Emmerson Mnangagwa and cause “both local and international outrage".

Since Monday, numerous activists have been abducted and tortured. Some reported the abuse to the police.

The European Union office in Zimbabwe said those involved in the violations should be arrested.

"These attacks need to stop, and perpetrators be brought to book," the EU said.

But Zanu PF youths said they would "defend the revolution".

"We are not going to allow any nonsense. We are prepared to defend our party, our democracy, peace and the freedom," said party youth league secretary Pupurayi Togarepi.

Deputy minister of information Energy Mutodi, through his official Twitter account, hinted that a law was in the making that would bring back the military in civilian affairs in future to avert demonstrations by the opposition.

“The Maintenance of Peace & Order Bill has been tabled in the Senate with most senators in support of the bill, especially the clause that allows the president to deploy the army in the event of violent protests. Conveners of violent protests will also be liable if property is damaged,” he said.

Meanwhile, the MDC Alliance has banned party regalia from the planned demonstration, saying it is not a party project but a cry by all Zimbabweans against a "failed government".

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