BY Brenna Matendere
The main opposition MDC led by Nelson Chamisa has begun preparations to hold a “final push” which the party says will force President Emmerson Mnangagwa to step down from power.
The opposition say Mnangagwa’s departure would usher in a national transitional authority that will be seized with electoral reforms that will eventually usher in a legitimate government.
The party’s youth assembly is leading the preparations for the protests by conducting provincial conferences across the country to activate its structures ahead of what it says will be a mega demonstration.
The first MDC provincial youth conference was held in Mashonaland East a fortnight ago and the second took place at Maboleni Business Centre in the Midlands province on Sunday where national leaders of the youth assembly, led by chairperson Obey Sithole, addressed bumper crowds.
The other youth leaders who were present include secretary-general Gift Ostalos Siziba, who is battling treason charges at the courts and vice-chairperson Cecilia Chimbiri.
MDC national organising secretary Amos Chibya told NewsDay on the sidelines of the gathering that the final push protests will be led by the “young people who are the future of this country”.
“We are organising for the final push (demonstrations) because it is now clear that Mnangagwa has failed this country and he must step down,” Chibaya said.
“We have our constitutional rights to demonstrate and the final push will be very peaceful and non-violent. It will be the mother of all demonstrations to send a clear message to the illegal government and show the anger of people against the regime that has (condemned) the generality of citizens into abject poverty never seen in a functional country.”
Two decades ago, the MDC under the leadership of its late founder Morgan Tsvangirai, staged a final push demonstration to force long-time ruler Robert Mugabe to step down, but without success.
Chibaya said his party was telling the young people that they were their own liberators.
Sithole echoed Chibaya’s sentiments and reiterated that their nationwide tour to send a message on the protests will be wrapped up in a few weeks.
“Our thrust is that of budgeting for a revolution. We are currently a gear up in organising and mobilising our members for the demonstration. We are saying let’s come together and break the barriers,” he said.
“We now know our source of trouble that has caused this harsh economic climate. It is ED (President Mnangagwa) and his Zanu PF party. We are ready to join hands and confront the source of our suffering,” Sithole said.
But Zanu PF national commissar Victor Matemadanda said Mnangagwa will not bow to any pressure.
“The MDC has been holding these demonstrations (in the past). Their agenda is to cause an economic meltdown. President Mnangagwa is going nowhere. He has been saying this is time for production and the country is on the mend,” Matemadanda said.
“What I know is that the planned demonstration will be illegal. They must come clear on why they are planning such things.”
While MDC demonstrations have been crashed violently by the police and the army in the past, Chibaya said the final push will be a success.
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions last week also said it was mobilising to stage mass protests over the deteriorating economic situation that has caused workers to suffer.