Tsvangirai plots massive demos

GWERU - As Zimbabwe's economic meltdown gathers pace, opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai says the MDC will soon launch peaceful mass demonstrations to force President Robert Mugabe’s government to act on the plight of millions of desperate Zimbabweans who are plagued by rising poverty, hunger and disease.

Addressing the media here on Thursday, Tsvangirai said the planned demonstrations would be a public display by long-suffering Zimbabweans of their pain and anger regarding the “dead economy” that Zanu PF had created — which had turned the country from being a breadbasket of the region to a nation of beggars.

“We have the capacity to mobilise and there is no doubt that we have the capacity to exploit the current state of affairs.

“But we want an orderly Zimbabwe with stability. It’s not just action for the sake of action, and it’s not even action against Mugabe, but action to resolve the national crisis,” Tsvangirai said.

He blamed Zanu PF for “dragging” a once thriving economy into the mud, to a point where millions of Zimbabweans had now been reduced to paupers.

“Zanu PF must realise that they have created these conditions. We can’t have such an economy, where in fact there is no economy to talk about,” the MDC leader said.

Tsvangirai’s comments on Thursday tie in with what he said last year at his party’s congress in Harare where he called on Zimbabweans to go to the streets and demand change at a time that the ruling party is consumed by its deadly factional and succession wars, at the expense of badly-needed service delivery to the people.

“If you go back to Murambatsvina, people were chased away from the cities to go to the rural areas, but they are back in the cities.

“We have more people in the urban areas now and we should have a response to that. People do not have jobs, hence they will do anything to earn a living,” Tsvangirai said.

He also bemoaned the destruction of commerce and industry around Zimbabwe, which has witnessed companies such as Bata in Gweru, which used to employ thousands of people, now operating at 30 percent capacity.

The Zimbabwean economy has been in free fall since the disputed 2013 elections, with companies continuing to close and tens of thousands of people losing their jobs.

And as Tsvangirai walked the streets of Gweru ahead of his media address, there were visible signs of desperation among vendors and other unemployed Zimbabweans, some of whom were jobless graduates from the country’s universities and colleges.

Economic experts say the hardships afflicting Zimbabwe have reduced the country to one of vendors, with everyone trying to sell something to survive.

In most streets in the urban areas, scores of young men and women roam around selling an assortment of products including cell phone recharge cards, vegetables, clothes, traditional herbs and skin lightening creams.

This has seen virtually all urban streets littered with card board boxes, and making them dirty and difficult to navigate during peak hours — a huge contrast from their squeaky clean image of two decades ago.

The capital Harare, for example, has virtually been transformed from its “Sunshine City” moniker into a shanty town, with its pavements littered with makeshifts vendor stalls. And as the comatose economy and the attendant liquidity crunch have continued to bite, corruption levels have also soared, further complicating the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans and pulling the country down the drain.

Economic analyst Takura Mugaga recently said if the situation persisted, Zimbabwe would continue to experience heightened urban decay and poverty levels, which could lead to social upheaval.

The situation has been worsened by the fact that the broke Zanu PF government is still battling to get funding for its economic blueprint, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset), which requires well over $20 billion.

Another respected economist, John Robertson, also recently highlighted the need to scrap the country’s controversial indigenisation policies which he said were responsible for chasing away investors.

“How can anyone amend theft? What government is doing is that it is simply fine-tuning its theft mechanism. I say they must scrap the whole thing (indigenisation). Something wrong cannot be made right.

“They should work on a new policy, but this time with investor input,” Robertson said.

Issis Mwale, another economist, said the government must solve its international relations problems.

“At the moment, the country is in a fix with most international organisations like the European Union, of which most investors are EU affiliates.

“There is need to have a reasonable Foreign Affairs minister who will look into all these issues as well as tell Cabinet what investors expect from the indigenisation law,” she said.

Mwale said the country also needed to resuscitate its agriculture sector, as well as its dormant parastatals.

Other economic experts assert that austerity measures such as reducing government’s expenditure on its bloated workforce would help to restore the fiscal credibility of the financially-stricken country.

Comments (17)

The most debilitating thing for us who have joined the likes of N Korea as failed states, is we will use sanctions for all it is worth as a smokescreen for the pillaging by chefs. For as long as we do that we will never climb out of the gutter.

John Banda - 7 March 2015

If Zimbos do not respond in their thousands to these demos then we have ourselves to blame. Jesus is not coming back to save us, people like Morgan can lead us out of this mess. In fact, Mugabe must be shocked at the level of docility displayed by his subjects.

Disaster - 7 March 2015

A very call indeed but zimbabweans are more docile than the sick old donkey . They will never stand up and remove the yoke of evil that is on their necks actually we enjoy having it . Lets all hind to the call from MDC . gammatox , all suffering masses from all walks of life and remove this yoke . No one will come and do that for us and now is the time it is ripe to do so . Never listen to what those who are benefiting from the chaos say stand up and fix this problem now or never .

Diibulaanyika - 7 March 2015

Zimbos are enjoying this tynarical leadership. MOGIZA will be nowhere to be seen on this day. BE AT THE BATTLEFRONT rather than hide in your ZANY given Mt Pleasent Mansion.

General - 7 March 2015

This is the second time Morgan speaking about DEMOS. To suggest that the DEMOS will not be action against mugabe " I dont know what Morgan is trying say". Morgan must move out of that GVT house if he wants to lead people. Why can't morgan do it "ITAI DZAMARA's way, give mugabe notice, give people date , time and place were to meet. To say ":soon" is meaningless.

X-MAN IV - 7 March 2015

Tsvangirai must know he helped create the problem by failing to implement the reforms and thus allowing Mugabe and Zanu PF to rig the elections. What is it exactly will MDC be demanding in their street protest? Because if it is another GNU, we do not want it. All Tsvangirai and his MDC friends is to get back on the gravy train; what we want is a real solution to this Zanu PF dictatorship because nothing of substance will ever be achieve as long as it Zanu PF remains in power. We want all the democratic reforms implemented and free, fair and credible elections held a,s,a,p.

Wilbert Mukori - 8 March 2015

Rise the people of Zimbabwe, rise and save yourself from self destruction. With or without MT or RGM we have to do something. One Dzamara, one courageous person ..the rest are f*** educated cry babies waiting for RSA or Britain to help us

garikayi - 8 March 2015

You see with this sickness in us of wanting to be led by leaders to demos makes us the weakest people in the whole continent . Where have you heard of a leader totoing ? Even during the war we never saw Nkomo going infront or staying in the bush to fight war never . Cowards always find a lot of excuses and we are that kind of a nation with a lot of negative attitude even if the call is for the betterment of our lives we still want to be led to streets like creche kinds nonsense. Leaders call for action and people respond in their thousands . Why cant we learn from our neighbours SA if a call is made that is it no saying aah but we need to be led but the caller of the action . That is why the govt in SA is scared of its people and is controlled them .Lets no listen to some comments by CIOs here lets standup do what we used to during the days of stay aways when the call was made we would do as told . We are scared of what is called mu chiTonga mudiima utwakwe suutwe scared of darkness which does not have a hyena in it ,

Diibulaanyika - 8 March 2015

imboitai ma DEMO enyu tione. Isu takatoona kare kuti these political leaders dont have solutions to this economy. Ini ndinenge ndakarara hangu kumba musi wacho. RIOT hero basa. shandai nevanhu

wind - 9 March 2015

Zimbweans rise up and demand change. SADC, AU, USA or EU will not do it for you. NEVER NEVER NEVER. If we dont liberate ourselves, who will.

Ndigere ta ta ta - 10 March 2015

Diibulaanyika- You appear to be the only 'undocile and unsick donkey' so I hope you will join Tsvangison in the demo. Us the 'docile and sick donkeys' will be standing on pavements to cheer on. Wish you lucky.

Ndugu - 10 March 2015

Since he was made to join politics by his masters Tsvangirai has been plotting 'massive demos'. He will plot until he meets his maker but will never rule this country.

Ndugu - 10 March 2015

Ahh kubangosimbirira zvemademos, maprize hikes here? who can give a damn ear

njuga - 11 March 2015

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