…as MDC-T gears for daily protests
MASVINGO - The current wave of anti- President Robert Mugabe protests rocking the country can only be stopped if the police arrest the nonagenarian and his ministers over the missing US $15 billion diamond revenue as well as a spate of corrupt activities which have left the economy in shambles, the Morgan Tsvangirai led Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) has demanded.
MDC-T youth assembly boss Happymore "Cde Bvondo" Chidziva, who has been labelled a terrorist by Zanu PF, served Mugabe with a petition to come out of his shell and address the plight of Zimbabweans with immediate effect or they will lead an upheaval which will make the country ungovernable. Mugabe last week flew to Kenya leaving the country in flames as 18 oppositional parties demonstrated last Friday demanding electoral reforms.
"If the police want the protests to end, they should arrest Mugabe and his corrupt ministers. They should arrest those who stole our $15 billion diamond revenue. We guarantee if they do that, the protests will cease immediately. We take exception to the narrative being peddled by Zanu PF that we are a violent lot as we have always notified the police of our demonstrations," said Chidziva.
Last week, Chidziva and his youth took to the streets protesting against the introduction of bond notes but the protests turned ugly after the police unleashed brute force against the protesters leading to retaliatory attacks which caused war zone scenes on the streets of Harare.
"Attempts by the state media and police to label me a terrorist will not deter me from providing leadership to the youth of our party who gave me the legitimate mandate as well as millions of other young people who look up to us to proffer an alternative.
"It should be noted that as a party and an assembly in particular, we seek the removal of Robert Mugabe and his corrupt system. Every day, together with the party leadership, we wake up to find peaceful means and methods to remove Mugabe from power.
"We remain unapologetic on our desire to see a post-Mugabe era and we will do all we can to ensure that the people of Zimbabwe are truly liberated," said Chidziva.
Chidziva said the police have launched a man hunt for him over the last week of protests but he remains defiant saying the police should stop victimising his colleagues under the fuss of trying to flush him out of his hiding since he is very much visible.
"If the police are keen on arresting me, with the sophisticated intelligence network of Robert Mugabe I am sure they know where to find me. The Wednesday demo against police brutality had a clear route and we followed that route religiously. We passed through many shops and police barricades but we were able to maintain peace and order because our issues were bigger than looting or harassing the police. When the police violently broke our march we ceased to be in control," Chidziva said.
He went on to blame the violence from last week's demonstrations on Zanu PF saying their youths militia were the ones who provoked the chaos and destroyed property of innocent people in a bid to tarnish the MDC-T's image.
"The coming in of a third hand in our demonstration can only be traced to Zanu PF's youth leader Kudzai Chipanga who has publicly stated that he will send in militia to disturb peaceful demonstrations. We hold him responsible for the violence that took place in Harare and we urge the police to arrest him.
"Let me reiterate that our struggle is bigger than looting and destruction of property, we seek to remove Mugabe and nothing will distract us from our mission. If given an opportunity we would loot, steal or destroy Mugabe and his regime not these innocent vehicles because we even need them in rebuilding our Zimbabwe after Robert is gone.
"Ours is a peaceful struggle against the dictatorship of Mugabe and we urge all Zimbabweans to keep on the pressure as we finish this struggle," Chidziva said.
Chidziva said they are planning to take the demonstrations to provinces so that they can get everyone involved.
In Masvingo, the authorities are on high alert with a demonstration against police brutality in the offing and riot police have been deployed to guard areas the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority's (ZIMRA) offices which are said to be a target.news