Sunday, 28 August 2016


PROMISE Mkwananzi has made Harare’s streets his second home along with a host of another activists that have been leading demonstrations against President Robert Mugabe’s 36-year-old rule and it is not very difficult to understand what motivates him.

Mkwananzi in court. he is spending the weekend in jail

Mkwananzi, the #Tajamuka/Sesijikile movement’s spokesperson believes the end is nigh for the 92-year-old strongman’s tight grip on power.

The former MDC-T youth assembly secretary-general was on Friday arrested on allegations of inciting public violence following another demonstration that brought business to a halt in Harare’s central business district.

Mkwananzi said he has been arrested countless times in his quest for real freedom for Zimbabweans and says no amount of intimidation will force him to succumb to the intimidation.

Before his arrest, he said he has been a fighter all his life and had numerous brushes with the Zanu PF-led government since his days as a student leader before he was expelled from the University of Zimbabwe, while in his final year as a law student.

Mkwananzi is also a director of the Zimbabwe Informal Sector Organisation (ZISO).

“Tajamuka has been an idea involving various political players, civil society and other citizens. We needed that platform for inclusivity where all players come together,” he said.

“This is a campaign solely for the removal of President Mugabe and not a political party.”

Mkwananzi said after the removal of Mugabe they would activate citizens into action and start demanding reforms.

“There are so many people in #Tajamuka. We have about 17 political parties and 40 civil society organisations. We are also visible in rural areas. We are not seeking political power in anyway, but we are pushing for reforms,” he said.

“It’s a campaign, which will have to fold when that business is accomplished.”

Mkwananzi said the fiery group had managed to remove fear in the citizens.

“#Tajamuka has grown into a huge campaign than we were expecting and has gone viral across the world and also here in Zimbabwe. Even in rural areas people are talking about #Tajamuka,” he said.

“We have removed fear in the people and reactivated the voice of the citizens’ and their participation.
“We have held sporadic and spontaneous demonstrations and confronting the regime on many fronts and we will hold our third national shut down soon.”

Mkwananzi said #Tajamuka had set August 31, as the deadline for Mugabe to indicate how and when he intended to step down and explain the transitional mechanism, which should be put in place to fill in the vacuum and carry on the outstanding reforms.

He denied allegations that they were putting people’s lives in danger through their numerous protests that have turned violent in some instances.

“It is the regime putting people’s lives in danger not us. We march under the law and what is criminal is what the government is doing,” he said.

“(They do this by) violating the Constitution and assaulting peaceful demonstrators, who are expressing genuine complaints.”

Mkwananzi accused Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo of inciting the police to beat up protesters, warning that he would be prosecuted for that in a “new” Zimbabwe.

“It’s unfortunate and we really want to warn the police. We want to warn Chombo that he will be prosecuted in the post Mugabe era for inciting violence and instructing the police to act outside the law and brutalise innocent people and committing crimes against humanity,” he said.

“He is a candidate for prosecution. His statements are on record and surely he will be prosecuted when change comes.”

Mkwananzi also said government was putting police in a very risky position.

“They are making police vulnerable to the people and exposing them to hate by the people. That is a very dangerous position because when the police officers go home they will be exposed to danger. Police should not be used as a political junta and they should maintain their credibility,” he said.

The #Tajamuka leader said Zimbabweans were tired of Mugabe’s rule.

“There is the political backing of the citizens for Mugabe to go. We are really articulating what the citizens are asking. There shouldn’t be a vacuum when Mugabe steps down and there will be a transitional authority,” he said.
“However, that transitional mechanism should not undermine the question of legitimacy.

“You will know the root cause of the problems in this country to date, is the contested legitimacy of President Mugabe more than anything else and the transitional mechanism and the government that will come must be rooted in the legitimacy of the people.”

#Tajamuka and other groups among them #ThisFlag led by exiled Pastor Evan Mawarire, Occupy Africa Unity Square led by Patson Dzamara and Zimbabwe Activists Alliance, have been leading anti-government protests across the country. standard


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