THE opposition MDC Alliance’s United States branch is planning a demonstration against President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Saturday at the United Nations headquarters in New York to press him to commit to key electoral reforms.
Mnangagwa is in the US for the UN General Assembly meeting.
In an interview yesterday, party organising secretary Murozvi Mada said they would seek to make the international community understand the situation in Zimbabwe.
“We are planning to stage a demonstration on September 29 and this is for the reason that we tell the international community that we had rigged elections in Zimbabwe. Our main objective is to show the people at home that we are together and that we make the international community aware of events back home,” Mada said.
The demonstration will be held well after Mnangagwa’s address, which was scheduled to begin at 9pm last night, but Mada said their target audience would still receive their message.
Mnangagwa has already met Zimbabweans in that country and asked that they contribute meaningfully to the rebirth of the country.
Mada said Mnangagwa’s meeting with Zimbabweans in the US would not pacify them.
Mnangagwa says he is trying to change from the governance style of his predecessor Robert Mugabe, who was also met with demonstrations in the US during his annual UN visits.
Tawanda Dzvokora, the acting chairperson for North Dakota and Minnesota, said their dates could not be moved as it was tradition that they demonstrate on Saturday to allow for Zimbabweans from all over the US to converge.
“All roads will be leading to New York, where the MDC is holding a demonstration against Mnangagwa. The purpose of the demonstration is to reiterate what the MDC president Nelson Chamisa has said before what other leaders have said that Mnangagwa didn’t win the 2018 elections and that he is not the legitimate President of Zimbabwe,” Dzvokora said.
“We will be telling the world that the person they are meeting in New York did not win the elections and that he will be faced with the legitimacy problems that faced Mugabe and the same problems that brought Zimbabwe to a halt. The issue of legitimacy has to be resolved.”
But Zanu PF’s secretary for legal affairs Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana described the planned demonstrations as “nonsensical”.
“I am not sure what they want to achieve. That is hell lot of nonsense and they just want to show off for nothing and that demonstration is meaningless as far as we are concerned,” Mangwana said.
“They know very well that these elections were endorsed by the courts. They can go and climb a tree, the Constitutional Court of Zimbabwe ruled in the victory of President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
“No matter how much noise they make in the USA, Zimbabwe is not in the USA and we are not a colony of any country. They can try to show off, but that doesn’t change anything on the ground.”
Last year, MDC activists protesting against Mugabe’s continued rule and his plans to run in the 2018 elections at the UN clashed with pro-Zanu PF group — the December 12 Movement — which organised its own demos in solidarity with the ageing former leader.
Mugabe was forced to resign in a de facto coup in November last year, which catapulted Mnangagwa to power.