Zimbabwe’s opposition leader has rejected President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s call early on Tuesday for “national dialogue” after days of protests and a violent crackdown by security forces.
In a series of twits, the leader of the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Nelson Chamisa, demanded an end to “terror” and the release of prisoners before any peace talks with the ZANU-PF government.
“In order to dialogue, one’s tongue must be free to talk. The tongues of the nations are tied in jails and many others by fear. This must end,” Mr. Chamisa said.
Mr. Chamisa and his party have accused the authorities of a brutal crackdown against demonstrators fed up with high fuel prices and a failing economy.
However, ministers of the governing party have severally accused the MDC of using people’s discontent as a pretext for violence.
President Emmerson Mnagagwa said earlier in the day that a dialogue was necessary to “put the people first”.
The opposition say about fourteen protesters were killed by troops, some shot at close range.
It also accuses the security forces of dragging perceived opponents of the government from their houses, and subjecting many to severe beating or imprisonment.