Mugabe, govt to face more demos in 2017

HARARE - As the warring Zanu PF shifts its attention to the eagerly-anticipated 2018 national elections, opposition forces have warned that they will mount more crippling anti-government demonstrations in 2017, to force President Robert Mugabe to address the country’s deepening economic rot or quit.

This comes as the government is continuing to struggle to pay tens of thousands of its workers their December salaries, amid growing disillusionment among the long-suffering civil servants who have also threatened to go on strike if their lot does not improve.

The latest threat by opposition parties and pro-democracy groups will pile on the pressure on Mugabe, who turns 93 this coming February, as the nonagenarian is also battling to contain his party’s worsening tribal, factional and succession wars, as well as his stunning fallout with war veterans.

The opposition spokespeople who spoke to the Daily News yesterday declared that they would mount their planned nationwide anti-government protests despite the heavy-handed response to such mass action by the country’s panicking authorities, who unleashed police and intelligence operatives on protesters on numerous occasions earlier this year.

Radical pressure group #Tajamuka/Sesjikile, whose leadership was arrested countless times during this year’s demonstrations, said it would raise its protest actions a notch higher than what it had done thus far, in its bid to force Mugabe to fix Zimbabwe’s dying economy or  to quit high office.

“2017 is a watershed year. We are going to intensify and scale up the campaign for the immediate resignation of ... Mugabe and his Zanu PF party. There will definitely be more demonstrations and huge numbers on the streets to force Mugabe out.

“Mugabe’s purported 2018 candidacy is pure madness on his part, as well as all those in his party who support that madness. It’s clear we cannot entrust the future of this country to be in the hands of these corrupt individuals,” Tajamuka spokesperson, Promise Mkwananzi, said.

“To that extent, Mugabe’s ill-fated candidacy will not be accepted. He is way too old and too frail to be a presidential candidate, let alone to be the president for another five-year term.

“We are going to challenge this in the courts, on the streets, in boardrooms, in mountains, in valleys, in water streams, in alleys and even in our own bedrooms. Mugabe cannot and will not be a presidential candidate ever again.

“We are also going to apply enormous pressure on opposition parties to form a coalition.

“The bickering cannot continue. They owe it to this country not themselves to unite and drive out Zanu PF.

“We are also not going to allow a flawed election to take place in 2018 or a losing candidate to refuse to accept results. We are mobilising and preparing to defend a free and fair election and its outcome,” the tough-talking Mkwananzi added.

Fearless National Vendors Union of Zimbabwe (Navuz) chairman, Sten Zvorwadza, said his organisation would also escalate protests against the Zanu PF government in 2017.

“We have built the foundation in 2016 and going into 2017 we will finish the job we started. The Zanu PF government must be warned that their days are numbered if they continue to ignore people’s grievances.

“There is going to be more action and the demonstrations will be bigger. Mugabe will be forced to listen to the crying voices of Zimbabweans because we are now determined to fight peacefully for our emancipation,” he told the Daily News.

Mugabe, the only leader Zimbabweans have ever known since the country gained independence from Britain in 1980, is under pressure to pave way for new blood.

He has been facing growing protests as fed up ordinary citizens took to the streets to express their anger over Zimbabwe’s dying economy.

A few months ago, the small border town of Beitbridge was rocked by riots after angry traders and truckers went on a rampage, protesting the government’s ill-advised ban on the importation of basic consumer goods, mainly from South Africa.

The riots later spread to Harare where angry commuter omnibus drivers took to the streets to protest ubiquitous police roadblocks which they say were milking them of their hard-earned money.

A few days later, tens of thousands of workers, including civil servants, heeded a call by exiled activist cleric, Evan Mawarire, to stay away from work in an industrial action dubbed Shutdown, and which went down as one of the biggest strikes ever to have been organised against Mugabe.

The government subsequently hounded the brave clergyman out of Zimbabwe,  while it also increasingly turned to police to quell lawful demonstrations.

MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu also told the Daily News yesterday that 2017 would be “a defining year” for long-suffering Zimbabweans.

“We are sharpening the knives for 2017 because it is the year when we take our strategy to the people. We are going to have ward-based strategies because we want people-centred and people-based approaches,” he said.

On the other hand, the leader of the smaller MDC formation, Welshman Ncube, said the only way that hope could be restored to the country was through the joining of hands by all Zimbabweans against Zanu PF.

“You do not need to be a politician like me to know that decades of bad governance, corruption, greed, intimidation, plundering and looting have finally driven the country onto its knees.

“Citizens have nothing more to celebrate, because the little money they carry can only get them by, and just. Today, I am more than convinced than ever that the only way to restore our cheer is to rid our country of the despicable Zanu PF government,” he said.

Comments (2)

Every December we here of watershed years, how many watersheds do we need before we crossover? The splinter MDCs should just head back to their mother party not this thing of coalitions to look for positions and mai Mujuru should also go back to Zanu PF then we have elections please do not force things that cannot be forced, if it was NCA I may understand as they were never a political party not the breakaways that want coalitions with the same party they came from, what has changed now that you want to join with your ex?

Qawe laMaqawe - 28 December 2016

It is best to strategise well yo pursuits on candidates,of president of zim.This position is now half vacant.I ,Viola ,will maintain my stance on ngwena.I want him to be president after mugabe.I want him to change our lives,our economy.I want my candidate to be the Helmut Khol of Zimbabwe.Unite us thru a sound economy and tribal tolerance.I want the best out of him.I want him to make the most out of his connections wth the east n west ,for our economy to rise again n be the best performing in Africa.I know this man.I wuldnt put my trust in him if I didnt know him well.My heart is out of control for my children s future.On this man I wont hesitate ,not even for a second to nominate him to lead the struggle that was stolern.But to Ngwena himself,here we come,dont take our ambitions for granted.If yu fail us ,which I doubt,we move on yu .Economy is our priority.Thieves n sellouts will eventual root themselves out,they run.Forcus on the economy ,sir.

viola gwena - 29 December 2016

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