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Opinion / Columnist

'Suicidal Protest'

14 Aug 2020 at 07:05hrs | Views
Protests are part of humanity as long as we have leaders and followers, the rich and poor and inequality. Protests can take any shape or colour and size. Zimbabwe was born out of a protest against Colonialism and many protests have been held after independence notably the formation of Opposition in 1999. 2015/16 saw the birth of Social Media Protests led by a variety of Activists and in 2017, opposition politicians and activists 'worked' with the military to 'retire' President Mugabe. A new dispensation led President ED Mnangagwa was celebrated and supported.2020, There are sounds from 'the quiet" opposition and protests calling for "ED Must Go!".

The much publicized July 31 protest saw the military show full force on the Cities and ghetto residential areas where most of the opposition supporters live. Citizens were stranded in town because there was no Zupco public transport to ferry them home a day before the demonstration. Most people stayed at home on the day of the demonstration out of fear and memories of past demos where soldiers have shot civilians as demonstrations have turned violent. It was a day of no work for the self-employed citizens. The various leaders of the demo who are in hiding following the States' desire to 'question' them expressed satisfaction it the turn out of events on 31 July. "People stayed away at their homes and we are happy" said Job Sikhala who is calling himself the Spokesperson of 31 July movement. Vendors in Chitungwiza where Mkoma Wiwa stays and Represent in Parliament didn't go to work on this day.

I read a Statement by a political outfit called Zimbabwe Economic Freedom Fighters (ZEEF) calling for the closure of the Beitbridge Border and EFF Malema is going to support this protests of August 31. What worked yesterday might not work today. Protests against colonialism might not work for Conscious citizens. We need to understand our context and come up with effective protests for whatever  cause we have. Who are we directing the protests to? Who will be affected by the protests and what is the expected outcomes. Closing the border if successful will not affect President ED Mnangagwa and his family and friends and allies. What is coming through that border is mostly food and fuel. You are planning to stop food from coming to feed your families. Those with food reserves will sell them at exorbitant prices as you close the borders. Come 2023, you will  walk to State House on a clean slate for your clever stunt. Please school me  on the wisdom of the plan.

We have seen many protests which have left ordinary citizens counting their losses mostly poor women vendors. We love playing cat and mouse games with the police in heavily congested in areas taking cover exposing the weak that we must  protect, vabereki vedu nevana vedu. We barricade roads to our ghettoes never for the Southern suburbs where are elite leadership stay. Makambovhara road yeku Umwinsdale neku Borrowdale? The vendors who lose there wares during demos, are they not your kith and kin?    

We are literate as Zimbabweans, l hope that we will learn from the past and approach our issues Scientifically. We keep going in circles and cycles. We must sit and and dialogue honestly amongst ourselves and see the door.

Ms Tendayi Lynnette Mudehwe Zimbabwe Activists Alliance Coordinator (0773011262)


Source - Tendayi Lynnette Mudehwe
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