Strategise before taking to the streets

The moment a leader loses the respect for human dignity, he or she can treat people like animals

Opposition parties are planning a demonstration tomorrow and they hope this will gain traction compared with previous protests, as people wary of the recently introduced bond notes are likely to join in.

Comment: NewsDay Editor


We have lost count of the number of demonstrations that have been held in the past five months, yet nothing has changed.

It is one thing to hold a demonstration for the sake of holding one and another to have a strategy with set goals and targets.

Failure to set goals and targets will result in Zimbabweans being weary and sceptical of demonstrations and this will ultimately lead to these protests flopping.

Opposition parties should set tangible goals for their actions, because, from a layman’s point of view, these protests are not achieving anything except the obvious violence with which the State will respond.

These demonstrations are akin to the opposition boycott of elections, whose objective nobody seems not to know.

Opposition parties say they will not participate in elections until there is electoral reform, but Zanu PF is intent to forge ahead and will pay a deaf ear to their concerns, while at the same time consolidating its hold on Parliament.

It is quite clear that there is no Plan B and the opposition are just prodding along and hoping for a lucky break, rather than a carefully laid-out plan.

The questions the opposition parties should be asking themselves is “then what?” each time they plan an action.

We are yet to learn what the plan was about boycotting elections and also with demonstrations.

Zanu PF, as it has reiterated, will not reform itself out of power, so on that end boycotting elections alone is inadequate, and, we dare say, a poor strategy.

The same is likely to happen with these demonstrations; Zanu PF is likely to use violence and brute force to crush them and then what?

Before weariness takes root, opposition leaders should lead these demonstrations from the front, as this will embolden their supporters to follow suit.

The opposition, could, for example, say we are taking to the streets for an infinite number of days until Zanu PF agrees to certain reforms.

These are examples of what the opposition could do to reinvigorate their supporters and win new followers, otherwise tomorrow’s planned demonstrations are not going to be any fruitful.

Without a clear strategy, the script for tomorrow’s demonstration is quite predictable: The police will deploy heavily, opposition members will try to converge at the open space near Rotten Row Magistrates’ Courts, teargas will be thrown, several people arrested and they will be violence and the following day, things will proceed like nothing happened.

Then what is the point of these demonstrations if they are going to be this predictable?


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