BULAWAYO – Zimbabwe’s civic groups have vowed to continue calling for regime change despite Zanu PF’s overwhelming win in the July 31 election.
This was revealed at a civic society exhibition last week.
“As civic society it is our role to push for regime change. There is nothing illegal, that is why we have elections in the country. Why would we go for elections if you don’t want to change government or governance? We are really proud to push for regime change,” Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CZC) spokesperson Thabani Nyoni told participants during a three-day civic groups’ Ideas Festival exhibition show in Bulawayo last week.
He said the group’s thrust is to force government to be accountable to the general populace and deliver on its promises.
“We will not apologise for our push for regime change because there is nothing wrong with that, in fact we are now seeing the fruits of regime change. I was in rural areas in Tsholotsho recently and I saw Zanu PF people telling their colleagues not to politicise food aid.
“This is something that was unheard of,” Nyoni said.
Nyoni said the Ideas Festival showed there was a platform for citizens to engage government on various socio-economic and political issues.
“The elections have come and gone and left many realities that we have to deal with. It is therefore important as a country that we stop and think about what kind of republic we want and what kind of Zimbabwe will work for us,” he said.
CZC is a broad based civil society network comprising churches, women’s groups, social movements, residents associations, labour unions, human rights lawyers, and health professionals.
In the past decade, the Zanu PF government has been accusing civic society groups and non–governmental organisations (NGO’s) of being used by the West in the regime change agenda.
Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa once accused NGO’s and civic groups of receiving “dirty money” from the West to help remove President Robert Mugabe from power.
At its congress in Gweru last year, Zanu PF passed a resolution to “flush out” NGOs and civic groups accusing them of being a security threat and working with MDC formations.
This was followed by threats on civic groups’ officials, with former Masvingo governor and resident minister Titus Maluleke banning 29 NGOs from operating in his province after accusing them of not being registered with his office and the Labour ministry.
In May this year, former Bulawayo governor Cain Mathema who is now the Matabeleland North provincial minister called on government to ban most NGOs blaming them for advancing imperial “interests”.