Mkwananzi remains defiant

HARARE - Anti-President Robert Mugabe protester, Promise Mkwananzi, has vowed that “not even jail” can deter him from pushing for the 92-year-old leader’s immediate resignation.

The Tajamuka/Sesijikile spokesperson — who spent nearly a month in remand prison on allegations of inciting public violence  said the incarceration period actually provided him an opportunity to strategise how to pile pressure on the Mugabe-led regime.

“We are not intimidated . . . there is no going back in the face of any intimidation,” he told the media in Harare yesterday.

“ . . . the conditions in prison were torrid . . . and it’s part of the concern. It’s actually good that I was there because when you are in prison, you are just seated, you have time to think clearly,” he said.

Mkwananzi was arrested last month after he visited the Harare Central Police Station to fulfil one of his bail conditions in another matter that is still pending before the court.

The activist remained behind bars until his eventual release by the High Court on Wednesday.

Mkwananzi said there is no backing down on the push to dislodge Mugabe, adding that no amount of intimidation will deter him.

Asked if the demonstrations had managed to yield any meaningful results in the face of criticism from other sectors of the citizenry that the strategy is failing to bring change, Mkwananzi said “the protests have brought the Zimbabwean story back into the international spotlight”.

“What the protests have been able to . . . expose some of the misnomers of this government, which were now conceived by the silence of the citizens,” he said.

“It’s very important that citizens speak out and express themselves when they are unhappy . . . and I believe in that regard, we have done extremely well,” Mkwananzi said, adding that demonstrations created an impact on the government in terms of piling pressure for it to reform.

Crucially, he said if it had not been for the pressure being mounted by protesters, the International Monetary Fund would have released money to Zimbabwe by now.

“I think that the pressure we have put has been very effective,” he said, further urging the police to follow the Constitution in executing their duties when dealing with protesters.

He also said Tajamuka will use “constitutional means to fight the unjust system and police brutality”.

Despite Mugabe ignoring their August ultimatum to resign, Mkwananzi said they still believed that “by December, the nonagenarian leader would have listened to their concerns”.

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