Zimbabwe’s main opposition leader, Nelson Chamisa, claims the government is trying to eliminate him as he prepares to challenge the result of last week’s poll.
“These guys are trained to kill and have been tracking me, doing all sorts of things,” Chamisa told Britain’s Sunday Times.
Political tensions remain high in Zimbabwe one week after a disputed poll that returned President Emmerson Mnangagwa to power for another five years.
The MDC Alliance is this week likely to file a petition against Mnangagwa’s victory in the constitutional court, which could delay his inauguration.
In the meantime, Chamisa’s MDC party claims that hundreds of soldiers have been sent into Harare’s low-income suburbs to beat, abduct and intimidate its supporters.
Local rights groups have made similar claims, though it hasn’t been possible to independently verify them or gauge the extent of the alleged abuses.
Chamisa told the Sunday Times his supporters are ready to go onto the streets, but he is wary of the repercussions.
Last week soldiers shot dead six civilians in central Harare as they crushed an opposition protest.
‘More dangerous than Iraq’
“People are calling on me, wanting me to give the signal to go to the streets,” Chamisa said. “But I am worried there will be massive bloodshed.”
He added: “This is a more dangerous situation than Iraq.”
Last week Chamisa’s top ally, Tendai Biti, claimed he and Chamisa were potential targets of an assassination plot ordered by Vice President Constantino Chiwenga.
Chiwenga has dismissed the allegation, telling Harare’s private Daily News that the claims showed Biti was “deranged” and in need of “mental evaluation”.