THROUGH social media posts, MDC Alliance deputy national chairperson Job Sikhala has rallied Zimbabweans to march in the streets against the plunder of the nation’s natural resources by the ruling elite.
The protests are scheduled to be held starting January next year.
“Brace for action in January,” Sikhala warned.
“They don’t want us to say it out when their footprint of looting is everywhere. We will not stop saying it, will not stop urging people into action. January is coming. I say January is coming,” reads a post ostensibly sent by the tough-talking Zengeza West MP.
Sikhala, a staunch critic of Mnangagwa’s administration, has been arrested several times for allegedly attempting to overthrow a constitutionally elected government.
One of the cases is currently before the courts.
Meanwhile, Deputy Defence Minister Victor Matemadanda has told opposition political actors and the West that they cannot lecture President Mnangagwa on democracy as the EU, the UK, and the US had tightened sanctions on Zimbabwe despite overtures by the incumbent government to reengage and institute economic and political reforms.
On 1 August 2018, ZNA members shot and killed six Harare residents after MDC Alliance supporters had staged a demonstration in the central business district over the delay by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) in announcing the July 30 presidential election result. Scores were also injured on the day.
In January 2019, security forces used live ammunition that killed 17 people demonstrating against a steep hike in fuel increases that were announced by Mnangagwa. At least 17 women were raped by suspected state agents during that period.
On 31 July 2020, security forces foiled a planned anti-corruption demonstration, and scores of political activists including Transform Zimbabwe leader Jacob Ngarivhume, journalist Hopewell Chin’ono and Sikhala were arrested.