LATEST: MDC and ZCTU to stage massive demo … as MDC sets new date for 19th anniversary celebrations


The Nelson Chamisa-led MDC has resolved to join the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) and the rest of the suffering citizens in protesting against the deteriorating economic conditions in the country.

The resolution was made during the MDC’s urgent national executive committee meeting that was held at the party headquarters in Harare yesterday.

MDC spokesperson Jacob Mafume told the Daily News yesterday that following the ZCTU action on Thursday that saw the State arresting the labour leaders to stop protests against the new two percent tax, the opposition party felt the need to “stand in solidarity with the people”.

“It was resolved by the national executive that we should show that we are with the people during this tough time, so we must join them in demonstrating against a government that is clearly clueless on how they can extricate the country out of the economic quagmire,” Mafume said.

Several trade union activists including ZCTU president Peter Mutasa and secretary-general Japhet Moyo were arrested for attempting to demonstrate against the proposed two cents per dollar transaction tax.

The tax that was gazetted on Friday comes at a time the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe reintroduced foreign currency accounts throwing the bond note into turmoil, hence sky-rocketing of prices as fears of 2008 when hyperinflation reached 500 billion percent grip the public.

Mafume said his party which will celebrate its 19th anniversary on October 27 cannot afford to fold its arms while the people were suffering.

“People have come to a point where they are saying enough is enough, hence the ZCTU action which we commend and will complement very soon after we meet all the stakeholders to come up with a convenient date.

“We have also been consulting our structures and they have signalled that they have had enough so we will stand with them in solidarity as dictated by the Constitution which provides for the right to demonstrate,” he said.

Mafume also revealed that the party will now go ahead with its anniversary celebrations that they abandoned last month following a government ban on public gatherings in the aftermath of a recent cholera outbreak that claimed several lives.

“We will have our celebrations here in Harare at Gwanzura Stadium because we have realised the police hypocrisy when they banned our event yet at the same time they let Zanu PF go ahead.

“They have allowed church gatherings that attract bigger crowds to go ahead, so we have said they should allow us to also do our activities or we will defy their ban, that is the point we have reached. We have since notified them of our intention to have our anniversary on October 27 but we have not yet received their response,” he said.

Pressed to say if the party will go ahead with its previous plans to inaugurate Chamisa as the people’s president to show their disdain for President Emmerson Mnangagwa whom they view as illegitimate after allegedly rigging his way to power in the July 30 elections, Mafume said that would be discovered on the day.

“We call upon all Zimbabweans to come and join us in our celebrations and get to know what is on the agenda when they come,” he said.

Last month, police proscribed the MDC anniversary celebration for the second time in less than a week claiming the ban on public gatherings occasioned by the cholera outbreak still subsisted.

Curiously, said the MDC, Zanu PF held a number of inter-district meetings across the country the same weekend despite the purported police ban.

Earlier, the police had given the MDC the green light to hold its rally but made a volte-face after realising that it may provide a fertile ground for the spread of the highly-infectious disease.

The main country’s main opposition called off its plans to hold a mock inauguration to name Chamisa as the country’s president.

The MDC Alliance had planned to hold the mock inauguration alongside its anniversary event to highlight its claims that Chamisa — and not Mnangagwa of the ruling Zanu PF party — was the rightful winner of the hard-fought presidential election.

This came after Chamisa had filed a petition at the Constitutional Court claiming that he had won the presidential election by 60 percent, while stating mathematical inconsistencies which he said if corrected would have reduced Mnangagwa’s tally to below 50 percent.

Despite the court dismissing his application with costs, Chamisa still insists that the ballot was rigged.

Government had threatened at the time that Chamisa would be arrested if he proceeded to swear himself in as president during the 19th anniversary celebrations.

— DailyNews

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