MUTARE – The Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC will follow up this week’s Bulawayo demonstration with yet another one in the city of Mutare in early June, party officials told the Daily News.
Apparently, buoyed by last month’s seemingly successful demonstration, the MDC will hold its second “freedom demonstration” in Bulawayo this Saturday and then on June 11 all roads will lead to Mutare.
MDC Manicaland province spokesperson Trevor Saruwaka said they have already informed the police 19 days in advance of their plans to demonstrate as is required by the law.
“Although this demonstration is going to be spearheaded by the MDC every effort must be made to engage other stakeholders who are suffering at the hands of Zanu PF.
“These include churches, civic organisations, other political parties, vendors, workers, genuine war veterans and students among others,” Saruwaka said.
He said they were confident of doing better than Harare or whatever will happen in Bulawayo because of what he termed the province’s “historic, well-registered detest of Zanu PF”.
“A modest target of 10 000 demonstrators was set. Mutare must be painted red on 11 June 2016.
“Party regalia and anything red must be worn on the day,” he said.
The Mutasa Central legislator, who has in the past organised villagers in his constituency to demonstrate against partisan food distribution, said the plan is to make sure that the opposition party regains its foothold in the province that was lost rather controversially in the 2013 elections.
“It was clear during the deliberations that our province has come of age, the spirit of unity, respect and tolerance was evident throughout the meeting.
“The contributions made were purposeful and constructive.
“With this attitude the prospects of sweeping everything in the next elections are becoming more and more realistic,” Saruwaka said.
He said mobilisation for the demonstration would be done across the province aided by an on-going rebuilding exercise targeting major urban centres such as Rusape, Mutare, Chipinge and Nyanga.
“These programmes, go beyond strengthening the party, they must also serve as mobilisation and strategising platforms for the 11th of June ‘freedom demonstration’,” he said.
20 of the 26 district chairpersons attended in person with the other six represented at a variety of other levels.
Amid a deteriorating economy, corruption and worsening living conditions, the MDC is now piling pressure on President Robert Mugabe and his government to shape up or ship out before the 2018 elections.
During the Harare demonstration Tsvangirai led from the front and the MDC supporters here expect him to once again take the lead.
Following Zanu PF’s sweeping victory in 2013 that ended the coalition government the economy has been in a free fall, government has been struggling to pay its employees and public debt has been ballooning something that has given birth to a new wave of protests.