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Ngarivhume confident demo will attract multitudes

by Staff reporter
08 Jul 2020 at 18:29hrs | Views
The organisers of the July 31 protests are confident that they will garner large crowds in the planned mass actions.

Transform Zimbabwe leader, Jacob Ngarivhume who is main organiser of the planned protests said yesterday that he had held talks with various groups to persuade them to join the demos.

Among those he said he had met were Tsenengamu, Mnangagwa's adviser Shingi Munyeza and opposition figures that include Ian Makone and Elton Mangoma.

"We met on Monday to engage leaders and seek buy-in for the nationwide demonstration, and we got it.

"The consultation process is still on-going and I am having a meeting with the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) secretary= general Raymond Majongwe and the Zimbabwe Teachers Association (Zimta) … to seek their buy-in as well.

"I have already received the support of nurses' unions who have said they want to join the demonstration which will go beyond corruption, to include the need for national dialogue, as well as paying civil servants in US dollars," Ngarivhume said.

He also said while Zimbabweans appreciated the threat posed by the coronavirus pandemic, this was not as severe as the challenges that the country faced owing to deep-rooted corruption.

"This week we are going to notify the police of our intention to demonstrate.

"We are aware of the lockdown restrictions and appreciate we have a balancing act to play, but we also realise that we cannot be afraid of Covid that has only killed nine people so far, compared to millions whose lives have been destroyed by corruption.

"We are going to put in place measures to ensure the safety of protesters, including ensuring that we all have face masks, observe social distancing during the march and that participants have their hands sanitised," Ngarivhume said further.

All this comes as political analysts have warned that the planned protests were likely to be met with State brutality — which is why national dialogue was critical.

Respected University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer, Eldred Masunungure, said the country's mooted national talks are important, as Mnangagwa could not expect the nation's problems to go away on their own.

"The call for demonstrations is warranted, defendable and legitimate because the situation has become desperate for Zimbabweans.

"However, the heavy hand of the State awaits those that will partake in the planned demonstration, and in the face of Covid-19 authorities will not hesitate to use a hammer to kill a fly.

"The State will likely go into its default mode of heavy-handedness to send a strong signal, like what happened with previous flash demonstrations, including the recent one in Warren Park," Masunungure told the Daily News.

"The opposition, therefore, has limited options because the freedom to demonstrate is only on paper. The democratic space is under lock and key.

"The reality is that nothing will change unless political gladiators in the country dialogue. ED should also realise that he has tried all he can to work on the economy on his own, and he has failed.

"His own supporters probably agree on this abysmal failure and also on the fact that all that needed to go wrong since he came to power in 2017 has gone awfully wrong.

"The only viable solution is thus a roundtable dialogue with the so-called enemies of the State (political rivals)," Masunungure further told the Daily News.

Source - dailynews