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Zim braces for crippling demo

Politics
ORGANISERS of today’s demonstration say they are ready to confront police brutality, as they take to the streets protesting against the impending introduction of bond notes and rampant corruption in the country.

ORGANISERS of today’s demonstration say they are ready to confront police brutality, as they take to the streets protesting against the impending introduction of bond notes and rampant corruption in the country.

BY OBEY MANAYITI

The demo — dubbed Munhu Wese MuRoad (Everyone to the Streets) — will bring together various social movement groups to protest against the introduction of the surrogate currency reportedly to mitigate the current cash shortages the country is facing.

The organisers of the demonstration, which comes after the government gazetted Statutory Instrument 133 of 2016 to provide a legal framework for the introduction of the bond notes, said they would not be deterred by police brutality, as they demand answers from President Robert Mugabe’s administration.

Addressing the media yesterday, #ThisFlower and National Vendors’ Union of Zimbabwe (Navuz) leader Sten Zvorwadza said nothing would stand in their way.

“We have so far been informed that the police have huge numbers to try and crush this demonstration brutally, so in preparation for that, we have also citizens who have lined up against the police’s behaviour,” he said. “Surely if the ZRP (Zimbabwe Republic Police) acts carelessly tomorrow (today), they will kill people because people are so determined to seek answers undeterred and unchallenged.”

Zvorwadza urged protesters to be peaceful throughout the demonstration and avoid the temptation of hitting back if provoked by the law enforcement agents.

Police have in the past used brute force to thwart protests especially in the Harare central business district.

“If the ZRP provokes violence, we truly want to encourage our protesters to remain as peaceful as ever because we might end up doing the wrong thing altogether,” Zvorwadza said.

He said they were on a mission to bring about a better Zimbabwe for everyone and the mission would start today.

Silvanos Mudzvova, of Tajamuka, said Zimbabweans should join hands and come together to face tyranny and prevent the introduction of bond notes and corruption.

Another co-ordinator, Patson Dzamara, said the mobilisation for the demonstration was encouraging and people were eager to participate.

“We are sick of corruption and corrupt officials in this country. We cannot be seen to perpetuate this and something has to give,” he said.

“We are going to register our displeasure in a categorical manner to the powers-that-be; that we are not happy and so the bold inscription from our standpoint is unhappiness. We are unhappy at the manner this government is administering the affairs of our nation.

“After all is said and done, we want to make sure that the message is delivered in a very succinct and very pronounced manner to the powers-that-be.”

Dzamara said they were prepared for the police’s heavy-handedness.

“We know they are going to respond in a morbid manner, but in spite of that, we are going ahead with our demonstration. We are not going to be deterred by their antics.”