Friday 16 August 2019


(New Ziana)- Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party leader Nelson Chamisa on Friday unmasked the real purpose of the street protests planned by his party – to unseat the government, and not to press authorities to address economic hardships as earlier proclaimed.

The party had planned to hold demonstrations in Harare on Friday, listing 12 demands – including unemployment and rising cost of living – which the MDC wanted the government to address urgently.
But the police, fearing violence, banned the marches, a decision which was later endorsed by the High Court on Friday. Small bands of the party’s supporters, almost entirely youths and male, however took to the streets and skirmished with police in some areas of the capital.
Chamisa, who disputes his election defeat by President Emmerson Mnangagwa last year, told a press conference later on Friday that the MDC would carry on the protests ‘until the people of Zimbabwe achieve a people’s government.
“Yes you are going to see more of these actions, peaceful actions in other cities, more action in Harare. This is not the end. It is the beginning. What you are seeing is just a teaser, this is an introduction. We are going to be on the streets until the state responds to the streets,” he said.
He added: “We are very clear that this is a long winter of discontent, a long winter of expressing ourselves. There is not going to be any rest until the people of Zimbabwe achieve a people’s government.”
Chamisa’s remarks confirmed wide suspicions in the country that the party was using economic hardships as a ruse in its longstanding quest to unseat the government unconstitutionally.
Two previous demonstrations held by the party, in January this year, and August last year, were widely seen as an attempt to unseat the government, and led to scores of deaths and injuries, and widespread destruction of property and looting of retail shops.
The party, however, always hid behind electoral demands and economic hardships in organising the protests, but Friday’s press conference utterances by Chamisa unmasks the MDC’s real intentions.
Even then, he maintained the ruse: “I must also debunk this myth – it is the people of Zimbabwe who are ultimately the donors of this party. A lot of people want to lie that this struggle is sponsored by America, by Europe. The sponsor of this struggle are empty stomachs. Our people are moved by their own stomachs.”
The United States and Europe, especially former colonial power Britain, have maintained a close relationship with the MDC since the party’s formation in 1999, and non-governmental organisations from these countries have funded the party for years.
They sought a regime change in Harare to reverse the country’s land reforms, under which Zimbabwe took over excess farmland from white farmers to resettle landless blacks.
“We are not in the business of speaking on behalf of the United States of America, we only speak on behalf of our stomachs,” Chamisa said, referring to the widespread suspicion of foreign involvement in the party’s latest protests.
The government said ahead of the demonstrations that it suspected a third force to be involved, by refrained from naming anyone.
New Ziana


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