Pressure groups take gvt head-on

HARARE - Pressure groups yesterday put President Robert Mugabe and his warring ruling Zanu PF on notice, saying they would combine forces and embark on mega protests to force the government to stem Zimbabwe’s worsening political and economic rot.

Led by prominent activist clergyman, Evan Mawarire, the 15 groups met in Harare yesterday, where they announced that they would operate as a single bloc in their fresh assault on the government.

Mawarire said the groups had no doubt that their new strategy would shake Zanu PF down to its core.

“Mark my words, this is a historic moment . . . A year after we Zimbabweans, young and old, began publicly and fearlessly holding the government to account on the misrule of our nation and mismanagement of resources, we find the government still refusing to hear us.

“The Zimbabwe we want is within reach. But it is only within reach if we come together, stand together, speak together and act together.

“Soon, we will make a call for fellow citizens to find their place with us . . . The unprecedented mobilisation of Zimbabweans everywhere has begun.

“The situation is becoming worse by the day and we the ordinary people will not accept this any longer. We are standing together yet again to say enough is enough,” Mawarire told a media briefing yesterday.

“Our economy has collapsed because of failing policies that are not conducive for investment and growth.

“We find ourselves at the mercy of a cash crisis which has already locked us out of our own hard-earned cash and has made business a nightmare to conduct. There is no doubt that bond notes have failed spectacularly.

“The governor of the Reserve Bank is on record committing to citizens that he will resign if bond notes fail. Bond notes have now completely failed and we therefore challenge the governor to honour his word and resign as he promised to do in the event of failure,” added the feisty preacher.

Mawarire was hounded out of the country last year after fearful authorities stepped up their crackdown on a restive populace and pro-democracy activists.

The popular clergyman had helped to organise one of the most successful strikes in the history of post-independent Zimbabwe, with long-suffering citizens heeding his call to stay away from work to protest the country’s worsening economic rot.

Dubbed Shutdown, the crippling strike forced the panicking Zanu PF government to use excessive force to quell subsequent protests, as Zimbabweans agitated for change.

He is currently on bail following his arrest upon his return from a brief self-imposed exile in the US in February this year.

Radical pressure group, Tajamuka/Sesijikile also vowed yesterday  to crank up the heat on Mugabe, declaring that fresh protests would force the government to act on the deteriorating situation in the country.

“What we did last year was just a drop in an ocean. We are going to do everything within our constitutional rights, including mounting peaceful protests,” its spokesperson Promise Mkwananzi warned.

Last year, the government was rattled by mass protests, as fed-up ordinary Zimbabweans protested the dying economy and their ever falling quality of life.

In response, panicking authorities used force to quell the demonstrations in a bid to contain the civil unrest.

Zimbabwe finds itself deep in the throes of a debilitating economic crisis which has led to horrendous company closures and the consequent loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs.

And Mugabe, the only leader Zimbabwe has ever known since the country gained its independence from Britain in 1980, stands accused of turning the once prosperous economy which was once touted as the bread basket of Africa into a basket case.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.