ZANU PF youths have threatened to “take up arms of war” to crush a five-day shutdown, which is being organised by social movement Tajamuka/Sesijikile to protest against alleged misrule by President Robert Mugabe.
BY EVERSON MUSHAVA/ KENNETH NYANGANI
Tajamuka has set June 20 to 25 as dates for a crippling protest that it claims would cause a complete shutdown of the country.
Speaking to journalists on Tuesday after a preparatory meeting for Mugabe’s second youth interface rally set for Sakubva Stadium in Mutare on June 16, Zanu PF Manicaland provincial youth chairperson, Mubuso Chinguno said: “’We are ready for them (Tajamuka/Sesijikile). If it means taking up arms of war to defend a constitutionally-elected government led by President Robert Mugabe, we are going to crush them.
“In Manicaland, we don’t want that nonsense. We are warning civil servants. For teachers, we have many graduates, if you fail to go to work we are going to replace you. As for nurses, it’s the same. No shop will close and we are going to protect you. Manicaland is a no-go area. We are even ready to take up arms of war if that happens. We will deal with them ruthlessly. We will not wait for the police.”
The radical pressure group’s leader, Promise Mkwananzi yesterday claimed law enforcement agencies were already hunting for the group’s members in a bid to stop the shutdown.
“We will not be deterred. We will continue with our peaceful action that we are known for. The country is in a crisis and people need to take action. People must act upon the crisis. As Tajamuka, we are determined to lead the people in a peaceful and resolute action against dictatorship,” he said.
In a statement released by the pressure group on Monday, Tajamuka said all shops and schools must be closed during the protest.
“Park all your kombis and no cars should be on our roads. All our borders must be closed. Stay indoors for your safety,” the pressure group warned in its ominous statement.
“It’s best to be with your loved ones indoors. Stock all your basic needs. Buy your electricity tokens, which will last the six days of shutdown. Take this seriously. This is for all Zimbabweans regardless of political affiliation … Enough is enough!”
Last year, Tajamuka, working with other social movements that included Pastor Evan Mawarire’s #ThisFlag, successfully led a shutdown of the country, forcing Zanu PF into panic mode, resulting in the use of police to clamp down on any further anti-government protests.