Protesters mull 'guerrilla tactics'

HARARE - Defiant anti-President Robert Mugabe protesters have said they will now be secretive about their demonstration strategies, as they devise ways to evade the repressive government’s moves to thwart them following the lapse of police’s demonstrations ban.

This comes as the police have violently attacked the protestors — who took to the streets in recent months in protest against Mugabe’s failed 36-year leadership — and imposed a month-long ban on demonstrations, which expired on October 16.

Following the ban’s expiry, the demonstrators have vowed not to give up.

And last week, political activist, Patson Dzamara — a fierce anti-Mugabe protester and brother to missing democracy campaigner, Itai — suddenly staged a one-man demonstration at the Parliament building in an ambush style.

The protesters have argued that the police’s protests ban had been “illegal and unconstitutional”.

On September 16, police banned protests in Harare for a month by invoking Section 27 of the Public Order and Security Act — popularly known as Posa.

The opposition and pressure groups who have been confronting government over corruption, economic woes, unemployment, and poverty among other things had described the ban as unconstitutional.

Lobby group Tajamuka leader Promise Mkwananzi said following expiry of the police ban, they had started with their citizens actions and will continue to protest peacefully.

“There is more action coming and we are planning more protests. I am, however, not at liberty to say what events we have lined up right now,” he told the Daily News.

“And let me say this, we are opposed to any assault on our Constitution by the police, because the Constitution gives the right to peaceful demonstrations and petitions. Should they decide to impose another ban we will continue to uphold our Constitution on the provisions that are in the Constitution that allow us to hold peaceful demonstrations.”

Tajamuka, together with other opposition parties and civic organisations, has held protests against Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s move to introduce bond notes, imports ban and Mugabe’s continued rule.

Dzamara said they remained suspicious of the Zanu PF government’s moves.

“Finally we should be under no illusion regarding the political character of Zanu PF. They will either renew the ban or come up with another obstacle to thwart the people’s movements.  For obvious security reasons, I cannot outlay what we have planned” he said, warning “this is going to be one hell of a summer for the dictator and his lackeys”.

“The ban was the excuse the regime needed to thwart any resistance by the people. Personally I never believed in its legality but always saw it for the sham it was,” Dzamara told the Daily News.

“The expiry of the ban now enables several organisations including political parties and social movements to legally organise actions and pile pressure on the regime. I and the movement I lead shall continue to be the vanguard of such protests.

His brother, Itai, led the #OccupyAfricaUnitySquare anti-Mugabe campaign.

Before his abduction, Itai had been beaten and arrested by the police several times.

MDC spokesperson, Obert Gutu, said they could not disclose their future strategies, but the demo ban had not stopped them from mobilising the people.

“We cannot say what we have exactly prepared or what programmes we are going to be rolling out but they are going to cover the 1 958 wards in the country, they are going to be at grassroots level,” he said.

Comments (3)

Those in the diaspora you letting down the comrades back, really should also demonstrate at every Singapore and Unite Arab Emirates embassy for hosting R G and Step mother for medical treatment and joy when hospitals in Zim are more of a death trap.

Jongwerume - 24 October 2016

I read that Stendrick Zvorwadza had bought a helmet...we need more of these and is there any law preventing demonstrators from having batons. knuckle dusters and pepper spray - to hit back when provoked? Tit for tat?

Sagitarr - 24 October 2016

Some protesters should carry gas masks so they can throw the teargas canisters back into the police vehicles

Kakuli - 25 October 2016

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