July 31 demo is not about graft: Government
THE government has said it is convinced that far from being an anti-corruption demonstration, the planned July 31 protests are meant to remove the government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa from power.
This comes as suspected State agents raided the homes of MDC deputy national chairperson Job Sikhala and expelled Zanu PF youth commissar Godfrey Tsenengamu at the weekend.
Writing on micro-blogging site Twitter, permanent secretary in the Information ministry Nick Mangwana said those who are organising the protest want to remove a constitutionally-elected government.
“If there was no #Covid19 catastrophe nobody would have a problem with an anti-corruption march.
“But to try to overthrow a constitutional order and replace it with an unelected monster is not democracy. It’s lawlessness. Democracy does not work that way.
“The cat is out of the bag. It’s not about corruption. It’s an unconstitutional plan to seize power and give it to the unelected.
“The Zimbabwe government was voted into power at every polling station in the country.
“Like @CharityMaodza said, the party of government was generally rejected in Harare. Now some Harare people want to subvert the will of the whole country by foisting their known position on this Nation. #Nix,” Mangwana wrote.
This comes as the organisers of the protests were confident they would garner large crowds during the planned mass action. Transform Zimbabwe leader Jacob Ngarivhume — who is the main organiser of the planned protests —last week said that he had held talks with various groups to persuade them to join the demonstrations.
The sentiments by Mangwana follow a stern warning by Foreign Affairs minister Sibusiso Moyo to foreign embassies, saying they must not interfere in the country’s internal politics. “All the embassies who are deployed here and all those who we also deployed in other countries are guided by the Vienna Convention and, therefore, they are obliged to ensure that they are complying with the law of the host countries.
“It is critical that they should be responsible and keep on the correct lane of their diplomatic endeavours,” Moyo said. Last week, Mnangagwa warned churches, embassies, opposition parties and workers, accusing them of seeking to destabilise the country.
This comes as Zimbabweans are reeling from the effects of the country’s dying economy, which has triggered panic and fears of a return to the horror situation of 2008. Despite being feted like a king when he replaced the late former president Robert Mugabe, following the nonagenarian’s stunning ouster by the military in the widely-supported November 2017 coup, Mnangagwa and his government have found the task of repairing the country’s broken economy very tough.
To underline how troubled the economy has become, last month the government all but signalled a return to dollarisation — after under pressure Finance minister Mthuli Ncube awarded civil servants and pensioners allowances in US dollars.
In 2008, Zimbabwe binned its worthless currency and introduced the multi-currency system which was anchored by the US dollar. Despite this system having served the country well for more than a decade, Ncube rattled the markets in June last year when he prematurely ended the local use of the US dollar and other foreign currencies.
And as the economy continues to tank, more and more people are imploring Mnangagwa and Chamisa to end their brawling, which stemmed from the disputed 2018 presidential election, and engage in dialogue.