'We are fed up, not afraid'

HARARE - Large crowds thronged Harare’s central business district yesterday as increasingly restless Zimbabweans, including unemployed university graduates who are having to eke out a difficult living as street vendors, marched against the country’s dying economy and the government’s imminent introduction of bond notes to try and mitigate severe cash shortages.

And as had been expected, the panicking Zanu PF government responded to the peaceful protests by unleashing trigger-happy riot police to attack and teargas the demonstrators and journalists who were covering the successful marches which had been cleared by the courts.

Angry protesters who spoke to the Daily News invariably described the unprovoked attacks by the police as “lunacy of the highest order” and “typical barbarism” by authorities who have also been cracking down mercilessly on disaffected war veterans who served divorce papers on President Robert Mugabe last week.

“I’m very angry with the actions of these hired dogs (police). This is lunacy of the highest order, particularly when one takes into account the fact that this is state-sanctioned savagery.

“It’s even worse if you also factor in the fact that the peaceful marches had been sanctioned by the High Court and police had also agreed to let both the bond notes protest and the demonstration by jobless graduates go ahead,” said a protester who was spotting a black eye from the assaults by the manic cops.


Scores of people demonstrated against bond notes and Mugabe's failure to fullfil his 2013 election campaign promise to create 2,2 million jobs. - Pics: Freedom Mashava

A number of journalists covering the peaceful protests, which ended with petitions being presented at Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa’s offices, were also brutally assaulted — with some of them having their still and television cameras smashed by the gun-toting police.

Among the media people who were either beaten or harassed by the cops were the BBC’s Tendai Musiya, Haru Mutasa of Al Jazeera, photographer Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi, Tony Manyangadze and the Daily News’ own reporter on the ground, Bridget Mananavire.

Contacted for comment, police spokesperson Charity Charamba said she was yet to be briefed on what had transpired, as well as the assaults and random acts of harassment.

Such was the complete lack of willingness to be reasonable on the part of the fearful authorities that police prevented the marching unemployed graduates from leaving their petition at Parliament, as teargas and water cannons broke the march before they reached the legislature.

Mugabe and Zanu PF, in power for 36 uninterrupted years, are facing their biggest challenge to their rule, which ordinary Zimbabweans say has been disastrous.

While police were ruthlessly beating up protesters, Mugabe was holding a crisis politburo meeting at the Zanu PF headquarters to try and heal growing rifts within the ruling party, which insiders say is a result of the nonagenarian failing to name a successor.

“We have shown the power of the citizens today. We expect the government to respond to our demands,” said the spokesperson of pressure group Tajamuka/Sesjikile, Promise Mkwananzi, who was among the organisers of the bond notes demonstration.


Part of the crowd that joined the protests.

“This is just a start. As we said, we will build and escalate the demos as we draw close to our August 31 deadline for Mugabe to step down. We want to warn the police against acting unlawfully and brutally towards peaceful citizens who have permission to express their legitimate concerns against the government.

“We are not going to stop here now and there is no more turning back. Mugabe and his government need to step aside and allow citizens to rebuild their country,” Mkwananzi added.

He also claimed that the government had allegedly issued a communiqué at all airports and borders, ordering his arrest.

Tajamuka/Sesjikile has been gaining a considerable following among long-suffering Zimbabweans after it teamed up with activist cleric, Evan Mawarire, to organise a crippling stay-away last month which was heeded by tens of thousands of workers who boycotted work.

Yesterday the group was joined in solidarity by opposition political parties and civic groups which had a multi-racial dynamic to it, with some among the crowd carrying crosses and placards lamenting the death of Mugabe’s first wife, Sally.

The protesters began marching in downtown Harare along Robert Mugabe Road, before turning into Fourth Street towards Chinamasa’s office, near Causeway Post Office.

Then suddenly, the cops pounced on the thousands of unsuspecting protesters as they left Chinamasa’s office — creating both panic and pandemonium, as both motorists and passers-by were caught up in the crossfire.

“First and foremost, the huge crowd that took part in the protest signals that the idea for a revolution is ripe. There is nothing Mugabe and his minions can do to stop this revolution,” said new Occupy Africa Unity Square leader Patson Dzamara, whose brother, Itai was abducted by suspected State agents 17 months ago.

“I am sure this has sent a clear message to Mugabe and his surrogates that Zimbabweans are sick and tired of their tomfoolery and they want their country back. We know that they are afraid of the citizens.

“This knee-jerk reaction doesn’t at all move us. We are not afraid. We have made our minds up and nothing can stand in our way.

“In fact all this strengthens our resolve to fight for a better Zimbabwe. We are certainly prepared to take bullets for Zimbabwe. They may arrest or beat us up but they can never arrest or beat an idea whose time has come.

“They are panicking and their levels of paranoia are very high as a result of the frustration and anger of citizens. Zimbabweans have tolerated them for a long time but now they can’t take it anymore,” Dzamara added.

Transform Zimbabwe (TZ) leader, Jacob Ngaribvume — who filed an application seeking the High Court clearance to stage the bond notes demonstration — gave Chinamasa an ultimatum to act on the petition or face the wrath of the people.

“We have given them a timeline to address our concerns, if they do not respond we will be back. Why does government through Chinamasa and John Manguda (RBZ governor), want to print bond notes? Where did the money (US dollars) go?

“There is no law that allows them to print the bond notes. So today we want to tell Chinamasa, Mangudya and Mugabe that they must resign because they have failed,” Ngaribvume said.

Unemployed graduates who joined in the demonstration said they had decided to unite with the bond notes marchers and speak with one voice with them.

“We have started it in Harare and it’s spreading to other cities and we are going to announce our further plans soon. And since Mugabe did not come out, we are giving him an ultimatum up to August 11,’ said the group’s representative Samuel Meso.

“We realised that by uniting with others we are showing that we are one Zimbabwe and that we are affected by the same problems. If the bond notes are to come as Mugabe and his Finance minister are planning, it will actually worsen the rate of unemployment. This movement is the genesis of the exodus of Zimbabwe,” he added.

The announcement of the imminent introduction of bond notes has caused panic among Zimbabweans as it has revived memories of the 2007 and 2008 economic catastrophes which were marked by severe food shortages and hyperinflation.

Some of the prominent people who have spoken against the bond notes include former Vice President Joice Mujuru, who has likened the bond notes to “useless toilet paper” and has since approached the courts to bar the government from issuing them.

However, the government seems unperturbed by the anti-bond notes calls, with the Reserve Bank saying it is “well on track” to unveil the bond notes in October, despite public resistance.

Comments (38)

The value of bond note is zero....even if u print a trillion of this fake/fiat currency finally it will come to zero Hapana chitsotsi panyaya iyi.

Dhewa - 4 August 2016

Well done Zimbos. Please don't give up and don't give in. The hour has indeed come to confront the tyrant head on without blinking. Even war vets have finally jamukared. Viva the struggle!!!

Loben Gula - 4 August 2016

Thank you very much Zimbabwean people for showing maturity in dealing with Mugabe. I have been always saying why is it that very few people less than 100 are troubling 13.5 million. It is high time we say enough is enough. Once get organised and remove them from power or else force for early elections.

njaonjalo - 4 August 2016

This mass awakening globally is now upon humanity as it has dawned on them that the few who have mandated themselves to rule over us and enslave us unto eternity cannot continue unchallenged. Nobody needs someone to lead them, to rule them, govern them, educate them. Wake up folks society as we know it is built on lies just to control you and tell you that you are not adequate. They create institutions to control you and every facet of society is built on control, control and more control. They even want to own your mind, tell you what to think, when to think, its a crazy satanic world dominated by the devils and satans.

musvina - 4 August 2016

we the people of matebeleland have bigger problems than bond notes,we have to endure shona domination and marginalisation,our problem is not bondnotes but a system designed to disadvantage us and keep us in poverty,so we say to the shona people,fight your own battles because even after mugabe is gone our children will not be getting admission into teachers colleges or polytechnics,lets revert to the internationally recocgnised jameson line and we run our own affairs and yu will be free to engage in corruption as it runs in your DNA

jojo - 4 August 2016

Mugabe is the worst enemy Zimbabweans need to get rid of

Ziziharinanyanga - 4 August 2016

Those who are near Mugabe, tasara nekangani kuti kanzwe kamdhara aka? tidzokorore futi?

Zvichingobvawonazvobgo - 4 August 2016

Jojo stop dividing Zimbabweans coz we do not want to talk about Ndebele raids that used to be done. Learn to move on and stop being a cry baby!

musvina - 4 August 2016

Jojo, what is called Matebeleland today is not your area to want to claim independence. If unhappy with Zimbabwe, go back where you came from, KwaZulu-Natal. Don't divert people's attention from fighting against mis-rule to your petty tribal polictics. The mismanagers are diverse from Zezuru, Korekore, Ndebele, Kalanga, Manyika, Ungwe, Nambia, Venda, Shangaani, Ndau, Karanga, Tonga, and so on. The presidium consist of a Mashonaland, Masvingo and Matebeleland people (Mugabe, Mnangagwa and Mphoko). Are you saying Mphokho and people like Jonathan Moyo, Obert Mpofu, Simon Khaya Moyo are all victims? Ndebeles and "Shonas' alike are fighting this. Get your head straight, join the struggle or shut up or ship out.

MM - 4 August 2016

With regard to police brutality I suggest that all police officers be dismissed and given a right to re-apply after the demise of Mugabe's dictatorship. Those re-admitted will have their service counted as continuous or uninterrupted while those who have engaged in unbridled police brutality are to be incarcerated or given a dishonourable discharge. Any ideas? I know they are our brothers and sisters but if they think they are and should be closer to Mugabe than to us the people of Zimbabwe then can you really blame us if we give them fair and equitable justice? What is important is for someone and everyone to keep a register of all incidences of police brutality.

Viva Unidade - 4 August 2016

it took shona speaking people who by the way were given the term shona by ndebeles 36 years to realise that mugabe is no good,what a shame

jojo - 4 August 2016

I strongly suspect that the urchins masquarading as police officers and brutalising innocent citisens are ZANUpf yourth in police uniforms. Kudzanai Chipanga and his band of lunatics promised violence on all demonstrators and their silence whilst the demonstrations are taking place is ominous. They are in action with Chihuri's conivance. Next time lets try to identify our asailants and I am sure you will recognize Chipanga, Jim Kunaka and other zombies in police uniform.

Max Kufakwejeyi - 4 August 2016

I wont be surprised if the stupid zanupfutseki youths take to the streets to support the bond notes

Linton Kwesi Johnson - 4 August 2016

jojo I don't think you are even Ndebele but part of the pple that are making Zim cry, so you are just to divert and divide pple for your own interests. Progressive pple will not be hoodwinked by you because in this struggle, there is no Ndebele or shona or Kalanga or Korekore, just ordinary long suffering Zimbabweans crying for their beloved country.

Den - 4 August 2016

The uniformed thugs acting as POLICE are just members of the ZanuPF Youth Wing in police uniforms ( NYOKA). Sakani wachingo ponda wanhu pasina anoti pwee!

Sekuru Ndoronga - 4 August 2016

Dictators are like cockroaches. They enjoy the milk till it drowns them. Mugabe is enjoying the luxuries of state house, forgetting the end that likely awaits him. He doesnt seem to realize how much far he has pushed the people of Zimbabwe. He is more naive than he is educated because he expects to live and supress the people forever.

Sandile - 4 August 2016

Fed up

Maybe it's time to trace and burn these police and army guys houses 1 by 1 till they stand aside. we doing this for them too - 4 August 2016

The arch villian Mugabe. May he rot in hell. Think about this Bob, millions of people, inside and outside the country will celebrate your death. What an aweful legacy you have left.

Luke Connor - 4 August 2016

The arch villian Mugabe. May he rot in hell. Think about this Bob, millions of people, inside and outside the country will celebrate your death. What an aweful legacy you have left.

Luke Connor - 4 August 2016

the president is going nowhere,he is serving his term and executing his mandate as given to him by millions of zimbabweans,the president was not voted in on online platforms so those thinking that they can twitt a govt out of power are joking,we stand with our president and we will back him up all the way

truth - 4 August 2016

I am only a sympathetic on-looker abroad, but may I suggest a proven method of dealing with police & soldiers who oppress their own people ? It worked in the 19th C., against the British : It is called 'Boycotting' after an infamous tenant farmer evicter. Simply - the people agree not to speak to them ...not to sell them anything or buy anything from them....to totally ignore them and their children in street or market. A short while of this treatment and you will see a remarkable change in their outlook ! It broke the British in Ireland !

john bradley - 4 August 2016

I am only a sympathetic on-looker abroad, but may I suggest a proven method of dealing with police & soldiers who oppress their own people ? It worked in the 19th C., against the British : It is called 'Boycotting' after an infamous tenant farmer evicter. Simply - the people agree not to speak to them ...not to sell them anything or buy anything from them....to totally ignore them and their children in street or market. A short while of this treatment and you will see a remarkable change in their outlook ! It broke the British in Ireland !

john bradley - 4 August 2016

Truth my brother you are a courageous man. I want to assure you that you are not alone. Every ugly dictatorship has its strong supporters. Even the devil is never alone. There are teams of willing devilites willing to carry out his mandate. Do you know that they are people who get a real thrill beating up innocent civilians, killing pregnant women or torturing innocent souls. So my brother sleep well, you are not alone.

Viva Unidade - 4 August 2016

Jojo should be reminded that during the early eighties Mugabe was fighting his 'own'political war with Nkomo,and any suggestion that it was it was brutality sanction by the Shona people is totally unfounded.It is the highest order of self deception and ignorance compounded by the fact that it was done to the Ndebele people.It was brutality unleashed by the few power hungry Zanu pf fellows who happened to be Shona devils.So to label every Shona person a tribalist is the most unfair doing by Jojo.Generaly Shona people are peace loving and they embrace interaction.Jojo's sentiments should be directed to Mugabe and his henchmen who ordered the brutal crackdown on Ndebele innocent people because of his unrelenting quest for power.We are all Zimbabweans Jojo.You should look at South Africa,a country with many different ethinic tribes as compared to Zimbabwe but the live in harmony.Just cut the crap of tribalism Jojo.I for one admire Ndebele people.

Janana wa Bikaz - 5 August 2016

Jojo should be reminded that during the early eighties Mugabe was fighting his 'own'political war with Nkomo,and any suggestion that it was it was brutality sanction by the Shona people is totally unfounded.It is the highest order of self deception and ignorance compounded by the fact that it was done to the Ndebele people.It was brutality unleashed by the few power hungry Zanu pf fellows who happened to be Shona devils.So to label every Shona person a tribalist is the most unfair doing by Jojo.Generaly Shona people are peace loving and they embrace interaction.Jojo's sentiments should be directed to Mugabe and his henchmen who ordered the brutal crackdown on Ndebele innocent people because of his unrelenting quest for power.We are all Zimbabweans Jojo.You should look at South Africa,a country with many different ethinic tribes as compared to Zimbabwe but the live in harmony.Just cut the crap of tribalism Jojo.I for one admire Ndebele people.

Janana wa Bikaz - 5 August 2016

@truth - I hope when your president dies, you (and all who worship him) will be buried with him so that, as you say, you will be with him "all the way" - to hell presumably!!

Sagitarr - 5 August 2016

@TRUTH.please my son truth as much as you are fond of me to the extend of peeing in your pants with excitement,please tell the people the truth ,I was not elected into power by millions ,I stole the elections. you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.

Mugabe RG - 5 August 2016

Given modern technology, lets collect pictures of all police goons beating up peaceful demonstrators. From there, lets collect their home addresses and begin to abduct their families until such time they begin to respect lawfully organised marches. These are no police but Border Gezi lumpens enlisted into the police service for nefarious ZANU plots. Its game on!

Save - 5 August 2016

bringing bond notes is like multiplying a number by zero,the answer will always come to zero

aaron - 5 August 2016

Jojo and other Ndebeles forget that it was Jabulani Sibanda the then war vet leader who organised million match and terrorised villagers in order to extent Mugabe"s rule. Is Jabulani Sibanda not a Ndebele? It is known that Jonathan Moyo introduced the sendekeras, posa, aipa and is still doing dirty things today, and is he not the Agent of NIKUV, he deed all these and still doing so inorder to extend Mugabe's rule. Is Jonathan Moyo not a Ndebele. Isn't it Welshman Ncube delayed the people's freedom when he used his position as a CIO agent to divide the party. It was him again who helped the killing of Learnmore Jongwe. He did this inorder to extend the rule of Mugabe. Is Welshman not a Ndebele. What about other who are in presidium like Mpoko?

kays 1 - 5 August 2016

Jojo and other Ndebeles forget that it was Jabulani Sibanda the then war vet leader who organised million match and terrorised villagers in order to extent Mugabe"s rule. Is Jabulani Sibanda not a Ndebele? It is known that Jonathan Moyo introduced the sendekeras, posa, aipa and is still doing dirty things today, and is he not the Agent of NIKUV, he deed all these and still doing so inorder to extend Mugabe's rule. Is Jonathan Moyo not a Ndebele. Isn't it Welshman Ncube delayed the people's freedom when he used his position as a CIO agent to divide the party. It was him again who helped the killing of Learnmore Jongwe. He did this inorder to extend the rule of Mugabe. Is Welshman not a Ndebele. What about other who are in presidium like Mpoko?

kays 1 - 5 August 2016

jojo, lets not be tribalistic. This is Zimbabwe.

kays 1 - 5 August 2016

@jojo,lets all unite to resist the british and their local puppets,we are all one people that is why i have a farm in shangani and soon to be given another one in mazowe where i was two weeks to scout for prime land to embark on a tobacco project,my advice to yu is dont fall for the whitemans tricks to divide us because of linguar differences,lets celebrate our diversity and unite to conquer the british because as yu can see thebritish used tsvangirai to stoke tribal differeces in the mdc and nationally,lets close ranks and defeat tsvanirayi,mawarire and their masters,united as one

truth - 5 August 2016

To Jojo I say leave tribalism aside. I have gone to university with a lot of Ndebele speaking people. Be reasonable and face the truth. Lets face the problem at hand and forget about your tribalistic tendency which sucks. That's why you did not make it in school. You answer your own question instead of what the teacher had asked

The Don - 5 August 2016

Jojo please lets move forward as Zimbabweans you being primitive. Otherwise promotion of tribalism is as evil of the current system we all want to end. Open your arms, open your heart to all Zimbabweans the Late Joshua Nkomo was a National Leader for everyone from Limpopo to Zambezi from Hwange to Mutare , From Plumtree to Mutoko, from Tsholotsho to Chipinge it was Joshua Umdala. Jojo love is all we want now no matter where you come from. Sisonke

Kambiri - 5 August 2016

@ truth ; u still need to grow up in mind and be more mature these days you cant keep on supporting this zanu .mugabe is eating good food and his kids are going to school but yours cant even manage to drink black tea leaves

nyakamba - 5 August 2016

@jojo OH PLEASE MFOWETHU, dont you think you are missing the point here , we are fighting an evil system of governance not a certain tribe ok

bmankomo - 6 August 2016

@jojo my brother , l think you are missing the point here , we are all fighting this tyrannical which has been oppressing people for the past 36 years.

pg - 10 August 2016

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