Social movements in Zimbabwe have vowed to continue piling pressure on the President Robert Mugabe led government to deliver on socio-economic and political reforms ahead of the 2018 elections.
Addressing a joint press conference in Harare today, leader of #ThisFlag movement, Pastor Evan Mawarire said the social movements will not back down and will not be intimidated by the brutal force of the police in their quest to push for justice and holding the government to account over abuse of human rights and social injustice.
Mawarire, who was flanked by Promise Mkwananzi of the #Tajamuka movement, Linda Masarira of the Occupy Africa Unity Square, Sten Zvorwadza, leader of the Vendors Union and Business Mogul, Pastor Shingi Munyeza as well other activists, said citizens cannot be at the mess of the Mugabe regime which has been in power for the past 37 years.
“We began holding the government to account over its misrule of our nation and mismanagement of resources about a year ago and today we condemn in the strongest possible terms the shambolic and embarrassing state of our nation, 37 years after attaining independence.
“Government is refusing to hear our demands yet the situation is becoming worse by the day and we ordinary people will not accept this any longer. We are standing together and we are saying enough is enough,” said Mawarire.
The clergyman, famed for leading a successful stay away in July last year against Zimbabwe’s deteriorating economic environment said government has over the past 37 years, been trampling on citizens’ rights by brutally handling and harassing social movement activists through arrests, detentions and other unruly means.
“We find ourselves at the mess of a cash crisis which has already locked us out of our own hard earned cash and has made business a nightmare to conduct. There is no doubt that the bond notes have failed spectacularly because they are certainly not at par with the US dollar that we all originally banked.
“The bond notes have only served to take away all the US dollar from the system and they are not the incentive that the governor (Dr John Mangudya) said they would be and they are not even accessible.
“In essence, government has succeeded in illegally taking our money as citizens. We challenge government to resolve the cash crisis and restore confidence in the banking sector,” Mawarire added.
He called upon Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor, Dr John Mangudya to honor his earlier promise that he would resign in the event that the bond notes failed.
Promise Mkwananzi of the #Tajamuka movement said social movement have joined hands in the quest to force the Mugabe government to respect the wishes of the citizens.
He however dismissed talks that they were forming a coalition or a political party.
“We are just joining hands in our quest to make sure we push the regime out. Let it be clear that this is not a political party; we are neither forming a coalition we are just calling for the government to be accountable and respect the rule of law and in particular the constitution of our country,” said Mkwananzi.
Social movements said more demonstrations will be held though they did not divulge further details of the times and areas.