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» » » » » Engage political parties on demos – ZimPF


Upenyu Chaota

- The Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) led by Joice Mujuru has attributed the failure of recent social media-coordinated demonstrations on poor coordination saying the organisers have no powers, outside of political parties, to mobilise people.
The party says organisers of those protests need to rope in opposition parties because they have a solid following.
ZimPF says Zanu PF has become immune to poorly organised and attended demonstrations by activists who are out to make money than fight for a cause.
Recent attempts by such pressure groups like #ThisFlag, #Tajamuka and #ThisFlower to organise mass protests against the government have largely failed.
Giving reference to the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) successful mass demonstration held in Harare a few months ago, ZimPF national spokesperson Jealousy Mawarire said it is high time Zimbabweans mature if they want to send a message to a regime that has imprisoned them.
"We cannot continue repeating things that have failed. These activists have no capacity to mobilise people for a meaningful demonstration. People cannot be mobilised on social media, you do not do that.
"This is the reason why there is always poor turnout at all the demonstrations organised outside political parties. It is high time we become mature and engage organisations which have followings like the church and various political parties," said Mawarire.
He said private citizens have no capacity whatsoever to mobilise people for a meaningful demonstrations.
"Let us rope in everyone and agree on modalities. The political parties have to be part of all the demonstrations since they command most of the people. We should desist from relying much on social media because it will not change anything.
"Just because you are a Mawarire and good at recording a video with your phone does not mean you can mobilise people. The shutdown which happened on August 6 was not a doing of any online activist but only coincidence came to play hence they claimed responsibility," Mawarire said.
The August 6, 2016 demonstrations, dubbed the 'National Shutdown' were spontaneous citizen-driven protests whose success was attributed largely to the efforts of now exiled #ThisFlag leader, Pastor Evan Mawarire.
Mawarire said people should learn from Itai Dzamara who failed to rally people behind him and should look to political parties since most of the activists lack resources.
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) president Dr Takavafira Zhou added his voice saying the social media movements are giving confidence to the regime that they can crush demonstrations.
"We are equally to blame for the crisis we have at hand. We have become competitors for donor appeal rather than work for a better Zimbabwe. You cannot organise a demonstration where a handful of people come, the police will beat you.
"The police will not beat people if they turn out in their numbers. It is time to be sober-minded because Mugabe will not be intimidated by a small group of people," said Zhou
He added that opposition parties should work on a coalition now because Zanu PF is like an octopus which can resurrect towards elections and win

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