Saturday, August 04, 2007
Chaos at wholesaler as faction leader’s move backfires MDC faction leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s propaganda attempt to negatively portray the price freeze ordered by Government backfired when he was made to flee after being confronted by Harare businesswoman and wife of Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander Mrs Jocylene Chiwenga at Makro Wholesale in Harare on Wednesday.
With the international and local private media in tow, Tsvangirai stormed the shop where shoppers were ordered to make way for him and his coterie of reporters and photographers.
Stunned shoppers were told that the "President" was coming in, but Mrs Chiwenga would have none of it.
"I thought it was President Mugabe and I became curious because I wanted to see my President because there is only one President ruling Zimbabwe and that’s President Mugabe. But to my surprise, it was Morgan Tsvangirai," she told ZBC-News last night.
Mrs Chiwenga confronted Tsvangirai and told him in his face that he was responsible for the illegal sanctions hurting Zimbabwe and the Western machinations to use price increases to effect illegal regime change.
She said the opposition leader bolted out of the shop as shoppers gathered.
People who spoke to The Herald last night said it was ironical that Tsvangirai, who has previously said he is prepared to lead Zimbabweans in a revolt against the Government, ran away from an unarmed individual.
Tsvangirai’s reporters were focusing on empty shelves, ignoring those that had stocks.
Mrs Chiwenga bought groceries for her village and city homes at the same shop. The groceries were shown on television last night, including her till receipt.
In an attempt to twist what happened, some newspapers and online news websites claimed Mrs Chiwenga caused mayhem at the shop by attacking journalists and shoppers and insulting Tsvangirai.
Mrs Chiwenga said she would sue the media organisations and Tsvangirai himself as she had not attacked anyone. She wondered how she could have beaten up men including the well-fed Tsvangirai.
Staff at the shop said the opposition leader had come to assess the level of stocks following the price freeze ordered by Government in June to arrest runaway prices that had left the majority of people unable to afford basic commodities and spurring inflation.
Reports said Tsvangirai had visited some shops in the central business district.
The opposition leader has criticised the price freeze which, however, has been welcomed by consumers who were weighed down by extortionate price increases that had become the order of the day.