MDC plots week-long anti-Mugabe protests at UN

HARARE - The MDC and Evan Mawarire’s #ThisFlag movement are plotting to embark on a week-long anti-President Robert Mugabe protest at the United Nations (UN) in New York starting today.

The protests — coinciding with planned local countrywide demos by opposition parties coalescing under the National Electoral Reforms Agenda (Nera) banner — are set to clash with United States (US)-based Mugabe sympathisers’ counter demonstration, also at the UN.

In a statement, MDC’s US provincial information and publicity secretary, Marias Shumba, said the party’s supporters will protest against the social, political and economic injustices that are being endured back home at the hands of 92-year-old Mugabe and the ruling Zanu PF.

Shumba said the MDC and Mawarire’s movement will demand, among other things, an end to abductions, brutal torture of peaceful protesters, partisan distribution of food aid, as well as implementation of electoral reforms before the 2018’s election.

“We therefore demand that the government embarks on an exercise to establish a biometric register before the next election and an extension of voting rights to the disenfranchised penal population as per the African Charter on Human Rights,” he said.

The party, Shumba said, will also demand the restructuring of Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec)’s secretariat, claiming it staffed by partisan State security agents.

“We demand that the Zimbabwe security forces must not play any role in any election and we also call upon the UN to set up a commission of inquiry that will look into the events and circumstances that led to the forcible disappearance of political activist, Itai Dzamara.

“Furthermore, we call upon the Zanu PF regime to bring to book all perpetrators of politically-motivated crimes. We urge the International Criminal Court to investigate and indict individuals in the Zanu PF government for crimes against humanity,” Shumba added.

Over and above that, he said the demonstrators will demand the immediate release of “all political prisoners from Mugabe’s jails”.

The majority of the demands are the same with those Nera will protest for in the country’s 210 constituencies on the same day.

But on the other hand, those sympathising with the cornered nonagenarian leader — accused of grossly mismanaging Zimbabwe’s economy during his 36-year rule — are also keen to make a statement in defence of Mugabe.

The sympathisers — going under the banner “Mugabe is right” and led by the December 12th Movement, a US-based anti-racism non-governmental organisation — accuse Mawarire and the MDC of being used as pawns by the West to turn back the African revolution.

“The forces transporting Mawarire around crying out for democratic change in Zimbabwe are the same forces that supported former dictator Ian Smith and his criminal rule over Rhodesia. Do they oppose corruption and poverty in Zimbabwe?” the organisation claims.

“Europeans take no responsibility for hundreds of years of African exploitation, terrorism and criminal sanctions against a developing country,” it said.

Comments (1)

So should we continue to suffer, just because we were once oppressed by the west? What then does independence mean? The "Mugabe is right movement" is utter insane, as it is saying that we are condemned to never enjoy freedom. We are in the 21st century and we should not be taken back to the colonial days by the ZANU PF thugs. We all know how the endgame will proceed.

Zvichapera - 18 September 2016

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