Scarred but not scared

HARARE - He walks with a limp and his hand is still in an arm sling, but despite the scars that are still fresh, anti-President Robert Mugabe activist Stendrick Zvorwadza is not scared, at least that is what he says.

Now Zvorwadza, 47, is planning to dress up in protective clothing whenever he confronts his newfound nemesis, the police.

“They are trying to kill us all and in future as Zimbabweans we are going to move around in our own country with protective clothes. This doesn’t mean we want war with them but the best way to defend ourselves in this environment is to dress up in protective clothing,” said Zvorwadza.

The former MDC official is perhaps one man who has been brutalised more than any in recent days.

The vendors’ leader who has charmed his way with his unorthodoxy campaign methods has been beaten several times by the police but remains defiant.

When he is not holding placards, he has roses confronting guns and last week he was left for dead when riot police descended on him as he attempted to hand over a petition at the Harare Central Police station.

“They can beat me and can do whatever they want with my body but they can’t stop my spirit of seeing a free Zimbabwe in future.”

The fearless activist said he is not deterred by Zanu PF’s “unscrupulous” means to stop his protests as he is prepared to “die for a free Zimbabwe”.

“I am ready to die for the people of Zimbabwe. There are people who are in hospitals who want to see freedom and I am there to speak for them. Even children they cannot stand up to map their future. Everything I do is not for me but for the people of Zimbabwe.”

The outspoken activist said government should respect human rights and be accountable to the people.

“Many people are very angry with what is happening but we don’t need guns, we don’t need weapons.

“We have no service delivery, we have no roads, no water, our hospitals have no medication, we are being abused by the police and now they are coming down to the street to threaten citizens.”

Zvorwadza also said despite the crackdown, he will intensify his demonstrations against the ruling party Zanu PF.

“What we want is the government to listen to the concerns of people, look the citizens demonstrate against Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko’s stay in a hotel but the government did not say anything but it is our right to know what happened after we raised this issue,” said Zvorwadza.

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