Zimbabwe’s 18 opposition parties unite on Friday’s anti-Mugabe protestsfrom MARCUS MUSHONGA in Harare, Zimbabwe
HARARE, (CAJ News) – EMBATTLED Zimbabwean government has requested dialogue with leaders of 18 opposition parties seeking to oust president Robert Mugabe from his prolonged stay in power.
This comes a day the country’s civil and human rights groups organised another national protest on Wednesday in Harare jointly spearheaded by #Tajamuka/Sesjikile and #ThisFlower.
The nationwide protest by 18 opposition parties on Friday has been sanctioned by the High Court after the initial mass action was aborted by police’s heavy-handedness on peaceful demonstrators.
This time around, the Friday’s massive protests have been coordinated by Mugabe’s former state security minister Didymus Mutasa under the banner of National Electoral Reform Agenda (NERA).
Mutasa is now a senior executive under the leadership of former deputy president Joice Mujuru’s Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF), who together were expelled from the ruling party by Mugabe in 2014.
Under the banner NERA, Mutasa courted other opposition parties to come together in order to step up the heat on Mugabe to quit power before the watershed 2018 presidential election.
As a result of escalating protests nationwide comprising major cities Harare, Bulawayo, Mutare, Gweru, Masvingo, Kwekwe, Kadom, Chinhoyi and Beitbridge on Friday, the country’s security cluster under Joint Operations Command (JOC) requested for an audience with all the 18 political parties.
Other notable parties expected to participate in Friday’s protests comprise Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T), ZimPF, People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn, among other opposition parties.
Confirming Friday’s massive protests was MDC secretary general, Douglas Mwonzora, who said: “We wanted to advise JOC that we would continue with last week’s protest that was disrupted by the police. We also wanted to complain about police behaviour.”
Mwonzora added: “We had carried with us a copy of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission report, which admitted that the police fired teargas on citizens indiscriminately.”
The meeting by security cluster is aimed at discussing parties involved in the protests not to engage in violence, looting and property destruction following the violent protests last week.
Police’s Commanding Officer for Harare Chief Superintendent Newbert Saunyama, summoned all 18 disgruntled opposition parties for a possible dialogue before embarking on massive protests on Friday.
But the opposition insisted they would not abandon their planned mass action that are aimed at piling pressure on both president Mugabe and Zanu PF to level the political playing field ahead of the crucial 2018 elections.
Among other reasons why a coalition of opposition and human rights groups take to the streets comprise high unemployment rate in the country, rampant corruption, cronyism in tender opportunities, police brutality, disappearance of R225 billion ($15 billion) from state coffers without trace as well as increased dictatorship of Mugabe.
– CAJ News
Short URL: http://cajnewsafrica.com/?p=14979