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Opinion / Columnist

Zimbabwe govt's clamp down on protestors a recipe for disaster

03 Aug 2020 at 15:12hrs | Views
The country's constitution allows people to demonstrate and express their grievances anywhere or whether such demonstrations have been called by self-styled activists or have been endorsed by opposition political parties.

Last week Friday public transport to and from town was banned and there were no vehicles driving into town. Large supermarkets and other shops were forced to close business as the army and the police flooded the streets and heed the call to shut down.

The government tried to downplay the demonstrations and said that the protests were ignored by a number of people, which proved to be a lie and cheap propaganda.

The presence of the police and the army being firm on the ground significantly showed that the demonstration was a success.

It was a sombre atmosphere in most urban centres. Business was not as usual in cities and towns as fear and uncertainty gripped Zimbabweans at large.

Harare the bustling and buzzing metropolitan city was virtually empty and as dead as wood showing no signs of life.

Zimbabwe is facing a plethora of political, social and economic challenges and when people try to express and air their disgruntlements they face all sorts of intimidation, risk being abducted and arrested. Citizens are not allowed to speak and they have no right to do that.

Health workers have been on strike for several days citing poor remunerations and lack of enough personal protective equipment to combat Covid19.

The government has the right to make sure that it attends to the workers grievances and concerns because they are in the frontline and cannot risk their lives to this pandemic.

Whenever the health workers start demonstrating the law enforcement agents are deployed to whip them. I think its only in Zimbabwe where nurses and doctors are beaten when they are asking for good working conditions. Zimbabwe's health care crisis deepens as virus rage.

The Zanu PF government cannot always be a cry baby whenever it faces a problem. When people demonstrate and come up with genuine grievances , the government starts accusing them of working towards a regime change.

When teachers, doctors, nurses, political activists start demonstrating the government always label them malcontents and people with a regime change agenda working under the arm of the United States of America or Britain.

No one is advocating for a regime change per se. People are hungry and want food, people are sick and want good medication, people are unemployed and want jobs. People want electricity, clean water and basic things. People don't want a corrupt government.

The arrest of Booker Prize longlisted author Award Winning Tsitsi Dangarembgwa, Fadzayi Mahere and other nine political activists during last week's protests, showed that this new republic is a coward and does not want to be challenged.

Zanu PF government must be committed to reforms.

Every time the government fails to solve its domestic affairs it starts shifting the blame to the Western countries accusing them of interfering with political activists to subvert a democratically and constitutionally elected government.   
The blaming of Non Governmental Organisations and accusing them of meddling in internal affairs of the country is just another government's cheap propaganda.

The people of Zimbabwe know much better the challenges they are facing on the ground day in and day out.

Freedom of expression is vital in any democratic country. Similar accusations of foreign interference were systematically levelled for much of the rule of Robert Mugabe. We need to change this political trajectory of the country and call for all Zimbabweans to work for the same cause.

Contacts

Facebook - Leonard Koni
Twitter - @Leokoni
WhatsApp - +27616868508
Email - konileonard606@gmail.com


Source - Leonard Koni
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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