Zimbabweans plot another shutdown

HARARE - The fervent spirit of resistance sweeping across Zimbabwe rose a notch higher yesterday when a group of protesters going by the name Tajamuka/Sesijikile not only called on President Robert Mugabe to resign immediately, but also threatened to storm State House tomorrow.

The daring pressure group played a prominent role in last Wednesday’s stay-away which shut the country down and which was widely seen as the biggest general strike to have been mounted in the history of post-independent Zimbabwe.

In a message on social media seen by the Daily News, Tajamuka/Sesijikile thanked Zimbabweans for heeding the call to shut down the country on Wednesday, and also called on “all patriots to be brave” and march  to State House tomorrow — advising interested parties to meet at Africa Unity Square at 8am.

“We will be marching to State House and demanding Mugabe to leave office. We will do whatever it takes to liberate ourselves. Mugabe must go this month. This is a month to liberate ourselves from this evil regime.

“We are just doing this as angry citizens seeking solutions to our problems. We need jobs, we need a better (life),” the Tajamuka/Sesijikile message read, further urging businesses to shut down and Zimbabweans to postpone their trips.

“By 31 August 2016, President Robert Mugabe must have either made way for a transitional government or addressed the country stating when he will leave because we do not believe that in his current state he is still capable of superintending the reform agenda that we are advocating in the country.

Protestors in Ruwa.

“We believe that Mugabe is the sticking point to reform because of his long incumbency and so he has to make way for a transitional authority and if that does not happen, there are a number of actions that we will take including escalating the protests and we have a well thought-out strategy to compel him to comply.

“The time for fear is over, we need to be resolute because we believe what we are doing is not illegal. There is no going back; more stay aways and demonstrations are coming,” Tajamuka/Sesijikile spokesperson, Promise Mkwananzi, said earlier — before an even more radical statement was released later.

Mugabe, in power since 1980, is facing the biggest challenge of his political career, amid debilitating cash shortages and his broke government’s failure to pay civil servants their salaries — which has seen them embarking on a strike.

“We also demand the immediate release of our colleagues who were arrested while protesting peacefully and that any police officer caught brutalising protesters be brought to book and the imports ban imposed (on basic goods) by government should also be reversed immediately,” Mkwananzi told journalists at a media briefing yesterday.

Tajamuka/Sesijikile apparently enjoys the support of 14 opposition political parties, including former prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC, the Tendai Biti-led PDP and the Welshman Ncube-led smaller MDC faction.

“If these demands are not met … we are shutting down (the country) again. The ball is now in your court. Respond to us, we are ready to close down again,” Pastor Evan Mawarire, who is behind #ThisFlag campaign, chipped in.

“If we do not hear from you again next week, we shut down and this time we add another day, Wednesday and Thursday.  We are not playing and we ask you to take us seriously,” he added.

Protestors in Epworth.

Among the issues government has been tasked to deal with are endemic public sector corruption and alarming poverty levels in most parts of the country.

On Wednesday, Zimbabweans rallied to stage a mega general strike which shook Zanu PF to its core.

From Harare to Bulawayo, Gweru, Mutare, Masvingo, Kwekwe, Beitbridge, Bindura, Chipinge and other smaller towns, all the major urban areas resembled haunted ghost towns as Zimbabweans heeded the social media-driven call to shut down the country for the day.

Even the normally bustling Mbare marketplace in the capital had an eerie feel to it.

Many businesses, including banks and large retail shops — particularly in high density suburbs — also closed their doors for the day, with very few commuter omnibuses on the roads to ferry travellers.

And not even the suspicious shutdown of the popular multi-platform mobile phone messaging service, WhatsApp, in the early part of the day, could shake the growing spirit of resistance sweeping the country.

Police fought running battles with some irate youths in isolated incidents of violence and made 36 arrests.

Mugabe, who was meeting his colleagues at the Zanu PF politburo, blamed a ‘‘third force’’ for the strike and other recent riots.

Security chiefs have also backed the ‘‘third force’’ claims, raising fears that they may launch a savage crackdown on organisers of such protests.

Comments (32)

ngachitsve, taneta nayo Zanu.

tatenda - 8 July 2016

When the people organise themselves to resist a regime, change is certain. Its an a collective individual fight for freedom where individuals feel they have to act to free themselves and not wait to be told what to do to free themselves

Ziziharinanyanga - 8 July 2016

What third force. You were used to docile, quiet Zimbabweans. There is no third force, the third force is the people who have had enough of your poor governance. Better be informed that it is going to be an ongoing thing until you wake up from your slumber.

mallorytk - 8 July 2016

Varume musafurirane. Siyanai nazvo. Mungatuke henyu but my advice is for you to stop your actions. Elections are coming in 2018, just wait for that time. Munofira mujere nechando ichi machinda. Shandirai mhuri dzenyu as well as the country. Kumhanya nechaunga kunoparira. Mabackers enyu won't be there for you kana mabreaker the laws of the country. Musazochema.

Patriotic - 8 July 2016

Why not camp at establishment properties rather than preventing people from travelling and ingaging in their self sustaining day to day chores.Burning tyres,stoning combis,threatening shops and such acts can not be strictly defined as peacefull.

gamatoxweevils - 8 July 2016

Well done Tajamuka. These youngsters make me proud. They remind me of my heyday when I joined ZANLA in the 1970s straight from the University of my friend Wilfred Mhanda. Mhanda later became Cde Dzinashe Machingura and the rest is ,well, history....

Allium Sepa - 8 July 2016

this ill thoughtout strategy will not work,people must respect the office of the president and not put the lives of other peoples children in harms way,those with grievances must engage us as the the ruling party because we have more than enough ammunition to respond to violence,those who lose elections must not think they can paralyse the country thru violence,as a people we stand ready to defend the state against predators,this is no picnic,dont push us to the limit

truth - 8 July 2016

Tajamika/Sesijikile? You are still following the usual Gukurahundi ZANU PF order of languages - Shona first then Ndebele next and you think you can defeat Mugabe? Where is the difference, since everything you do is copied from the ZANU PF Bible of tribalism? Why cant you for once use just one language at each instance without an alternative, so that everyone learns to speak that language? Like it is in South Africa - It can be Sesijikile today. Tomorrow ,on another project you use a Shona name; next project you use a Tonga name exclusively and next project a Venda name njalonjalo as the constitution requires. Why always the two languages all the time with Shona getting preference? The South African space project Sumbandila is named in Venda. I know of no other alternative name in some other language, The SA govt Social project is named Batho Pele. A Sotho word - I know of no other alternative name in another language. The govt project on assessing service delivery is named the "Siyahlola" programme - a Zulu/Ndebele/Swati name. No other language is used as a translation like you do in Zim. This doubling of names with Ndebele playing an inferior role that was started by Mugabe and his ZANU PF in 1980 is what makes Shonas not learn other languages, because you are giving them an alternative. This is why they call Makoni's party Mavambo and never use the alternative name Kusile. Again this is why the nationalists refused the double barrelled country name of "Zimbabwe Rhodesia" because this would have led whites to continue calling it "Rhodesia" whilst Blacks called it "Zimbabwe". The SA National Anthem has caused consternation because the whites/Afrikaners only sing the Afrikaans/English parts and leave the parts that are in African languages. whilst Black people sing the whole Anthem. Food for thought!!

Mthwakazi Restoration Movement - 8 July 2016

Tomorrow we march to State House. President Mugabe feels that he has state machinery behind him and that he can crush the rebellion. Vanhu - mangwana tikapfurwa tapfurwa. Asi tinofa tayedza kubvisa mharapatsetsetse iyi. Tiri kuda kuti international community ichipindira nyaya iyi itibatsire kumubvisa. The war of independence was not won by the people but by the internationals who supplied weapons and training. It is time that they see how violent this regime is so they can aid is to remove this despot. After all, Mugabe does not believe in democracy as he has said that the bullet is mightier than the ballot. Peaceful revolts do not work. #Tajamuka

Game Plan - 8 July 2016

Yes @truth, you do have the will and the ammunition to beat up the people, but you cannot divert the winds of change. Mr Truth sir, will you tell me why your party went to war against a legal government of Ian Smith, why did you not engage them like you are proposing, why did you have to make Rhodesia ungovernable, why did you have to force innocent villagers to participate. If you can answer that, then that's the reason why people have to do it

Ziggy Zigawo - 8 July 2016

You don't realise something zimbabweans. We are the born frees Born after 1980.. We are not cowards like our brothers and sisters born during the colonial times. We the generation 80s have reached the tipping point and we are the new generation movement for our generation to run the country.Thank you are fore fathers Zanu for liberating the country. Now its the time for our generation to choose which future Zimbabwe decides to follow.Yes, we will give you your pentions as founders of the country,but the driving sit is with us! We ask you Zanu Pf as we are the new generation of Zimbabwe born after 1980 and now approaching 40's without ever been employed and our degrees we worked hard for are going to waste! I'd rather die poor with a bullet,rather than to sit down and i know i can do something about it. If you are born after 1980 please raise your middle finger in the air for our president Robert Mugabe And his cronies!

madmaster - 8 July 2016

Going backwards is as good as going foward.Better die going foward. We will be there tomorrow wining and dining in mugabes former dining room.

july - 8 July 2016

May I coin the next protests as - Shake the Shake Shake House 1 , 2. 3, 4 and so on until the regime dismantles. Or just Shake Shake 1 . 2 , 3...........

Amai Mandigona - 8 July 2016

@madmaster Ido not agree with you. Do not insult the sacrifices made by these people when they went to war,do not even belittle their commitment and achievement. Lives were lost,limbs broken,families wiped out to achieve the independence that was then lost to Mugabe and the "fist" family. i wonder whose is the last family. The sacrifices made by the war veterans is the same with that you are ready to sacrifice yourself to liberate this country from ZANU PF. They didn"t know that they were giving the country to the dogs, just like you dont know if you remove ZANU PF what will be the next gov like

Ziggy Zigawo - 8 July 2016

We support you our children. We were not cowards. We did our part in the 60s and 70s. Its now your turn. We did not fight that we oppress each other. Some selfish so called leaders. We will push together till change comes. Yes we suffered during the war and have never known peace....thank you for the shut down. Viva liberation

dollarman - 8 July 2016


jojozvenyika - 8 July 2016

This peaceful stay away has exposed Mugabe as it is clear that he rigged the 2016 elections. Who voted him into power? Thank you very much Zimbabwe for heroic sacrifices, we are our own liberators. Let march peaceful as we demand our freedom from these black oppressors.Do not be cowed down these so called security chefs because they are only FIVE, Chiwenga,Shiri, Chihuri , Zimhondi and Sibanda. How can we cowed down by five people.We do not engage in violent protests.

Gandanga - 8 July 2016

This nonagenarian called Robert Mugabe is very dull after all. Does an unemployed person need a second person to tell them they are not employed? Do civil servants need a third force to tell them their payday has been moved forward? Aaaah shame someone is way out of touch with reality. Why not go home and eat Alpha and Omega yoghurt and ice cream?

Mabhengeza - 8 July 2016

my message to Mugabe is [u can not stop change] so do the right thing and step down or else you will have more blood in your hands

chivo - 8 July 2016

The protest is the act showing that Zim citizens have had enough. And such act dont usually fail. having violent responses towards such acts only proves the current government is incapable of satisfying the citizens. Best way to respond is give the people what they need

Outsider - 8 July 2016

mugabe chibva pachigaro we dont need you at that position any minute long you should retire now or face troublbe for you and your family killing one person will lead you and your family in far fetched concequences better you announce transitional arrangment now....it no joke people nolonger need you time is up for you

dofo - 8 July 2016

for #tajamuka to stage successful demos, they must not threaten people with death if they dont side with them. threats like, batai munhu, zvambaradzai munhu, burn their cars, follow them home mupise imba yake, with disregard to safety of children, the elderly, the sick, those on funeral vigil is really hooliganism. democractic forces do respect the freedom of association and if I dont want to be associated with #tajamuka my car must not be burnt, my house not stoned. #tajamuka must follow the example set by the the #Occupy Africa Unity Square where its peaceful. we even pass thru without being molested. Wednesday was about civil servants and not #tajamuka. dont steal the success of Apex.

Prosper Chinamhora - 8 July 2016

well said @prosper chinamhora,yu couldnt have put it better,these lawless mobs will soon account,peace which has proved elusive in most parts of africa must never be taken for granted,it baffles that the craving for southafrican baked beans and mayonaisse can lead a people to lose their mind,peace loving zimbos must not lose sleep over these gangstas,our machinery is well oiled and we shall deal with the malcontents,they shall enoy local cabbages at chikurubi

truth - 8 July 2016

hie vana vemuzimba

smwakatimbo - 9 July 2016

voestek mugabe n your followers

khulu dlodlo - 9 July 2016

Herald lies, Daily news lies, will god ever hear our pleas? Calling this a biggest strike evr when unemployment is over 80 %. Tinzwei Mambo

Pamusoro pechikomo - 9 July 2016

F*ck Mugabe and all his supporters God has got nothing to do with Mugabe and His supporters Mugabe and his supporters can only be removed by force and nothing else

AdminDoNotHideThisComment - 10 July 2016

@truth - you can bring your guns and ammunition. Be ready to kill 15 million people that hate you and your evil vampire state witches. we'll smoke you out. Run little truth run!

Kclab - 11 July 2016

@truth i hate every word that you say

patriot - 12 July 2016

mugabe go and rest now

Mwana - 13 July 2016

unofira mahara cz jesus already died for you..and for what..who has ever listened to the voice of the masses?even after mugabe,the people proptesting will not be heard cz he who comes has his /her own people..the uneducated and poor die for nothing

HYPERV - 15 July 2016

enough is enough mugabe must go

kind weed - 30 August 2016

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