Defiance spirit gathers speed

HARARE - The spirit of resistance sweeping across the country is threatening to knock President Robert Mugabe and his ruling Zanu PF off their perch, with fed-up Zimbabweans planning to mount two more massive demonstrations this week alone — beginning with a nationwide shutdown on Wednesday.

The announcement yesterday by radical pressure group Tajamuka/Sesijikile that it would organise another debilitating nationwide shutdown, follows hard on the heels of the vow at the weekend by the group of 13 opposition parties who operate under the banner of the National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera) that they would not be cowed by worsening police brutality, and would mount another mega demo in Harare on Friday.

Both opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC and former Vice President Joice Mujuru’s Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) are part of Nera and say they will support the Tajamuka/Sesijikile nationwide shutdown which will in the main call for Mugabe’s resignation from power.

Last month, Tajamuka also played a prominent role in a massive stay-away which not only shut the country down, but was widely seen as the biggest general strike to have been mounted in the history of post-independent Zimbabwe. That mass action gave Mugabe an August 31 ultimatum to either relinquish power or face an uprising.

The daring pressure group told the Daily News on Sunday yesterday that it was appealing to students, civil servants, war veterans, police, religious groups, established businesses, the informal sector and even “progressive Zanu PF politicians to fully support the process of citizen liberation” through the planned shutdown.

In the same vein, it also condemned worsening police heavy-handedness in dealing with Zimbabweans protesting against Zanu PF’s misrule.

“We condemn in the strongest terms the assault, arbitrary arrests and incarceration of citizens in the country.

“In light of these sad retrogressive and unlawful measures by the State, coupled by the fast approaching August 31, 2016 deadline that we gave, Tajamuka/Sesijikile announces the August 31 national shutdown as a footing for serious citizen actions against police brutality, restrictive import trade policies, bond notes, deteriorating service delivery, corruption, illicit financial flows, and too many police roadblocks,” it said.

MDC secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora called on all MDC supporters and other “right-thinking” Zimbabweans to come out in full force in solidarity with Tajamuka/Sesijikile on Wednesday.

“We will support efforts by Tajamuka/Sesijikile on Wednesday and all other progressive forces that want to remove Mugabe from power. We are unfazed by Mugabe’s hollow threats that are meant to intimidate us because his end is nigh,” Mwonzora told the Daily News on Sunday yesterday.

Afghanistan-based political commentator Maxwell Saungweme said the shutdown and other protests could usher in a new political dispensation in the country, notwithstanding the government’s iron-fisted response to the growing dissent by the populace.

“It is common for dictatorial regimes to oppose change by any means. But the history in Libya, Egypt and even our own liberation struggle tells us that nothing can stop an idea whose time has come.

“The courts are doing well by following the law and the Constitution and the regime is in denial. Change is here and the earlier they wake up and smell the coffee the better. Otherwise they will go the way many such regimes have gone,” Saungweme said.

Nera convener Didymus Mutasa also threw his weight behind the Tajamuka/Sesijikile shutdown, saying he was not averse to working with them.

“As Nera, we welcome them in the fight against Mugabe even though I have not personally met them. We also support their own initiative in that regard because that is what we are all yearning for,” he said.

This week’s two planned protests actions come in the wake of a worrying tendency by the government to ignore court rulings, as was witnessed on Friday when police stopped a Nera march despite the High Court having barred Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo and all law enforcement agents from interfering, obstructing or stopping the demo to press for much-needed electoral reforms ahead of the eagerly anticipated 2018 national elections.

But Tajamuka vowed that notwithstanding the “thuggish tendencies” by authorities, it would bring to an end Mugabe’s 36-year stay in power before the 2018 elections.

“We reiterate our position that 2018 is too far. Cross-borders cannot be subjects of  Statutory Instrument (SI) 64 of 2016 up to 2018. Transport operators cannot sustain corrupt road blocks up to 2018. Residents cannot endure shortage of potable water up to 2018.

“Students cannot endure exorbitant tuition fees up to 2018. Citizens cannot endure subjection to a failed health system up to 2018. Vendors and the general public cannot be bonded on worthless currency up to 2018. Citizens cannot watch illicit financial flows beyond the $15 billion stolen in Chiadzwa until 2018.

“Civil servants cannot endure unknown pay dates and non-payment of bonuses up to 2018. Human rights defenders cannot be subjected to police brutality up to 2018. Schoolchildren cannot be oppressed by a national pledge up to 2018.

“Local authorities cannot be subjected to a non-devolved State up to 2018, and all progressive Zimbabweans cannot up to 2018 be subjected to a president who has failed to superintend over the affairs of the State,” it said.

The group added that the “reactionary attitude of the country’s authorities, particularly their reluctance to respond to citizen demands” had spurred them into drastic action.

“On the day of the shutdown, let’s use the opportunity to prepare for the Nera demonstration at Tajamuka Square (Freedom Square) on Friday September 2, 2016.

“We also want to implore the Tajamuka/Sesijikile campaign to assume the citizen responsibility to protect each other during times of empty threats by a small factional clique of Zanu PF youths who, after insulting veterans of the liberation struggle, believe that they can extend it to the broader masses,” it said.

Comments (24)

We can not run a country like that. People should follow a democratic process otherwise any one can jamuka and decide to into the street. Its important to note that the right to protest is a qualified right as long as it does not impinge on other people's freedom as well as health and safety. Given the precedence set by previous demonstrations there is no evidence to support the sanction of the coming together of thugs aimed at looting and stealing. The government must therefore stop this demonstration and if goes on by force then they should use the ordinance at their disposal including all the necessary intelligence arms in the military such as ZIC , SIB. its also time for all men and women in Zimbabwe minus these zed driven thugs roaming our street purporting to be representing to come out and challenge these fools once and for all otherwise our country will be lawless like Somalia . aM ALSO ASHEMED OF OPPOSITION PARTY LEADERS IN THEIR DEARTH OF STRATEGIC THINKING AM SURE THE GOVERNMENT CAN CALL UPON A NUMBER OFSTATUTORY ACTS THEY HAVE BREACHED SO FAR IN THE MANNER THEY HAVE MISHANDLED THESE DEMONSTRATIONS

trevor - 28 August 2016

Truth, Trevor @ company: finally you have resolved that the party is greater than the people, the police are greater than the people, the army is greater than the people. We will see for how long the reign of terror will obta9in

Viva Unidade - 28 August 2016

@Trevor - this is an illegal government. They rigged elections and are struggling for legitimacy to this day. If it is your govt too bad, we will withdraw our labour anytime especially with rioting police tear gassing people at random (including morons like you). If you rely on Zanu PF for your bread the countdown has begun. We are not scared of you bunch of scare crows anymore. The police action has made it easier to stay at home because tear gas & police brutality are meted out at random. Unlike your hired idiots we live in the city and have been voting against all of you (your president included) since 1999. My wish for you Trevor (and you ilk) is a tear gas canister exploding right in your stupid face.

Sagitarr - 28 August 2016

@trevor it is people with your mentality who have sustained this regime. Very sorry for you, the end is nigh

handeitione - 28 August 2016

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AArush - 29 August 2016

@Trevor , there is nothing much i can tell you for the first time today on this site apart from drawing a Red Line to you ------------------MUSUNU WAKHO . Zimbabwe is today in such a ludicrous situation because of you who cannot even realise the aggravating factors caused by Mugabe and ZANU PF to ordinary people of this country .

Khalabemgeza - 29 August 2016

TREVOR why are zimbabweans running in the streets? Is it because they love protesting and runnin g battles with police. hmm zimbabweans are arguably one of the peaceful people in Africa why all of a sudden have they jumped ship and all of a sudden become violent? IF YOU WANT THE ANSWER TO THAT GO ASK ROBERT MUGABE AND HIS STUPID POT BELLIED CRONIES

nutty dreadlock - 29 August 2016

Its either Trevor is benefitting from this corrupt government or he is an embecile.

chimuti - 29 August 2016

they will give you a concise account about how they systematically destroyed by ZANU PF ne nyaya yavo yekusada kusunga mbavha. Kangai destroyed GMB Akatoitwa national hero, Mpofu and mining scandals varikungosiiwa,cash shortage in banks ,a dead currency Gono aipiwa right yekuprinter mari wat happened our money became worthless,police yenyu bruitall, hamudi ma electoral reforms,vote rigging if you think im lying search Zim prison service officer who put a secret camera and went to vote in 2008 You will b shocked and yet your illegitimate president is proud of saying how he was illegaly put in power. Complain against gvmnt unoshaikwa eg dzamara. i mean is that freedom hmm ndozvakafira ana Tongogara iozvozvo hmm ndo mapfupa a mbuya nehanda AMUKA AKUTITAMBUDZA KUDARO? TANEEEEEEEEEETTTTTTTTTAAAAAAAAA COME 2018 THE OPPOSITION IS GUARANTEED MY VOTE

nutty dreadlock - 29 August 2016

People like Trevor suffer from gross idiopathy that can only be healed by beating, which he recommends on innocent citizens. Trevor is an imbecile, a moron, a buffoon. is he not related to this idiot........?

Brighton Simelane - 29 August 2016

True liberation is realized by breaking all laws first, because Mugabe and his ZANU PF when they wedged a war of liberation there was not any single law of Smith regime, that they supported or observed. That the resulted in Smith calling for the arrest etc of nationalist who then skipped the border, wedged a war of liberation from sympathizing nations. These are the same powers now calling for those wedging war/demonstrations against them to observe the law. What law does Mugabe and ZANU PF onserve when he is brutalizing citizens. What law accept president to forcefully kill white citizens and take their farms. What law permits killing of 20000 Ndebeles, to kill more than 2000 MDC and opposition supporters, to fire the Vice President without referendum, to have a former Army Gen Mujuru burnt in a farm house and no special inquest commissioned and not even one have one person tried. That means that is ZANU PF doing all these. What law is being following.

amina - 29 August 2016

Trevor we know you are the condom of Robert Mugabe who used to go on this forum by the name Truth. One day we will visit you in prison where you shall be residing together with that bveni Matibili

Tich - 29 August 2016

I think the organisers of these demos should do one long one dont give this stupid government breathing time to regroup. Time is up to push them out. taneta sesidiniwe. we struggle while they enjoy everyday. they even fly to Kenya to prove they dont care

mso - 29 August 2016

WHEN DICTATORSHIP IS A FACT, THEN REVOLUTION IS A RIGHT.

Ziziharinanyanga - 29 August 2016

@Trevor, why is it that you align demos with drug addicts and zed imbibers???? Its only a Zanu apologist like you who thinks that all demos have an opposition party or western agenda behind. People are now thinking with their tummies because they have been empty for too long. We have been reduced by this illegal govt to celebrating for paying $50 school fees. No one knows what their tomorrow holds because there are no industries. How can i call myself a man if i am failing to provide my children better than what my father did. Zanu promised 2 million during their campaigns but more than 4 million are jobless. Instead of creating employment they caused a lot of unemployed. The police should stop their heavy handedness because they are getting pittance. Nguva yakwana. The time is coming and the TIME is NOW

Zvakwana - 29 August 2016

@ Trevor...nyika ino yasvika pakunyura kusvika thi far becoz of idiots like yu....nxaaaa mhani mbwa yemunhu

jchidyamatoo - 29 August 2016

TAJAMUKA

TAJAMUKA - 29 August 2016

Stupid people like Trevor should not be listened to.You don't run a country by invoking statutory acts whenever people demand what is rightfully theirs.All the previous demonstrations have been very peaceful if it were not the Zanu Riot Police who provoked peaceful protests so that they will label them violent.Thats the reaction of a cornered regime.Don't take people for granted,they can see through the smokescreen.It only idIots like u who are trying to flog a dead horse.Winds of change are blowing at an alarming speed and for bootlickers like you,its hard to come to terms with reality.Freedom is coming tomorrow!

Janana wa Bikaz - 29 August 2016

.....am thinking about Trevor's vision of Zim........uhlalangaphi wena muntu?

McAaron - 29 August 2016

Sikhathele ukuhlala kwamanye amazwe nabantwana sibizwangamakwerekwere yet bona besidla mnandi nomugabe wabo enough is enough

senzeni - 29 August 2016

Taneta kugara musango nevana pliz adara make space kunini untshontsha kawusuthi ngani

Takwana - 29 August 2016

Trevor/Truth Ka!

MJombo - 29 August 2016

Truth /Trevor is another ZANU pf brainless supporter. Could b a handpicked prison guard....basa risingadi chikoro/ brain. He lives only for today like a baboon..... Let's think about our kids n their future too!! Is it bright or darkest???

Dhewa - 29 August 2016

Methinks Trevor/Truth should stick to reading the Patriot, The Herald and other communist dailies. You are outnumbered here. I cannot add more, the people are angry, provoke them at your own risk. Was just thinking: Is Trevor going to be given another farm for writing this hogwash? Or maybe ten more stands at the next ZANU pf rally.

Unidade - 29 August 2016

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