OPPOSITION MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa has blasted President Emmerson Mnangagwa for labelling innocent citizens as terrorists after they expressed anger over his maladministration.
Chamisa accused Mnangagwa of using a primitive way of governance.
Speaking for the first time after visiting a number of victims of State-sponsored abductions, torture and arrests in the last week, Chamisa said it was not proper for activists to "stay in mountains" fleeing the regime in a free country.
Chamisa, who has been on leave mourning the death of his mother who passed on last month, is expected back in office today at a time dozens of citizens are in hiding facing arrest for allegedly participating or calling for the July 31 protests .
"It is not proper to have people in a supposedly free Zimbabwe who are not sleeping in their homes peacefully and are wanted not for anything criminal, but for demanding accountability and end to corruption," Chamisa said.
"We have brutality of innocent citizens by State agents and it is sad. But we will smile soon. I sense victory, our sorrows will turn into joy, celebrations are not far away, and change is coming."
He said the country was faced with a multifaceted crisis including COVID-19 and corruption, adding that "the centre no longer holds", hence the need for action to get Zimbabwe out of the woods.
"How does a citizen who is asking for accountability get accused of being a terrorist? How do you say you want to flush out terrorists? How do you label Zimbabweans terrorists for differing with you?
"This whole thing of abductions, torture and arrests are all primitive instruments of governance. Let's fix our legitimacy, reforms and define our solutions," Chamisa said.
He said the centre was no longer holding in Zimbabwe and people must work to ensure that things are back in line.
"This is not time for brutality or violence against the people, Zimbabwean lives matter, now we can't breathe. We have a survival crisis, a livelihood crisis. Nothing is working and it is not a partisan issue.
"It is not about MDC or Zanu-PF; it is about Zimbabwe and our collective dignity as a people. It is our being that is under attack and there is no need for point scoring," the country's main opposition leader said.
"This is the struggle of being a Zimbabwean. We are hopeless, jobless, homeless, cashless and lifeless too. This must stop. We can't continue like this when young people are being robbed of their future."
He said Zimbabwe had everything good except leadership and that it was time to correct that without "rancour or anger like what (Zanu-PF acting spokesperson Patrick) Chinamasa and Mnangagwa are doing".
"Finger pointing is never a solution in circumstances of national challenges," he said. "Instead of shooting the messenger, they must understand the message. Zimbabwe can't breathe and Zimbabwean lives matter.
"It is about the message not the messenger. It's not about who said it, but what is said. It's not good for any sane leader to label any of our citizens as terrorists. It is a sad indictment and it is actually an act of terrorism for anyone to call others terrorists."