MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai will today miss the opposition party’s Mutare protest march against President Robert Mugabe’s alleged misrule, as he is scheduled to undergo a routine medical review, NewsDay has learnt.
by BY OBEY MANAYITI/ KENNETH NYANGANI
This comes as the party was optimistic of pulling a bumper crowd to demand Mugabe’s immediate resignation over the poor economic performance and maladministration.
In April, Tsvangirai led thousands to a peaceful demonstration in Harare, but missed a similar march in Bulawayo, as he was recuperating in South Africa from an undisclosed medical procedure.
Tsvangirai’s spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka said his boss’ absence would not affect the much-hyped Manicaland protest march.
“President Tsvangirai will not be part of the marching thousands in Manicaland, as initially planned, as the new date for the demonstration, now brought to Thursday, coincides with his scheduled medical review following a medical procedure done on him,” he said.
“President Tsvangirai is in high spirits and was looking forward to attending the Manicaland protest march on Saturday were it not for the incestuous relationship between Zanu PF and the police, who conspired to create a competing event by Zanu PF on the same day.
“But the event is going ahead because it is a provincial event and, in any case, the absence of the president does not affect party programmes.”
MDC-T was forced to bring forward its march after police said Zanu PF had a function on the same day.
Tamborinyoka described Manicaland as the “scene of the crime”, where $15 billion worth of diamonds were stolen to “fatten the pockets of the chefs and to pay Nikuv [an Israeli company] to steal July 2013 harmonised elections”.
MDC-T spokesperson, Obert Gutu said the party was hopeful of pulling 10 000 people to demonstrate against Mugabe and Zanu PF.
“On Thursday, the MDC mother of all demonstrations takes place in the beautiful and serene Eastern Highlands city of Mutare. We expect a bumper crowd of no less than 10 000 people to take part in this demo,” he said.
“The people of Manicaland are particularly irked by the looting of diamonds that has taken place in their own hinterland of Marange and Chiadzwa. They would like to know, among other things, what happened to the $15 billion worth of diamonds that President Mugabe recently publicly admitted was looted.”
The opposition party will also be demanding to know what happened to the so-called community share ownership trusts in Zimunya and Marange area, as well as those who benefited from the programme.
MDC-T Manicaland chairman, David Chimhini said they were geared up for the demonstration, which starts at Sakubva Beit Hall at 9am and ends at Meikles Park in the afternoon.
“The only difficulty we are facing is the police. They keep calling us and they are demanding to know how people are going to demonstrate and the number of marshals. We are not concerned about the numbers, but the message, to be conveyed,” he said.
“The demonstration comes at the right time for the civil servants. They are employed, but are not getting their salaries on time. We also have people who were affected when industries closed.”
The Mutare demonstration is a follow to those held in the Harare, Bulawayo and Bindura. The demonstration becomes the first one to be cleared by police, as the other three were okayed by the High Court, after the cops attempted to block them.