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Hiding activists vow to resurface on July 31

By Marshall Bwanya

Several trade union leaders, human rights activists and politicians who are hiding from the police have vowed to show up for the much-talked-about July 31st demonstration against bad governance and corruption.

Tajamuka/Sesjikile coordinator Promise Mkwananzi, ARTUZ president Obert Masaraure and MDC Alliance Youth Assembly members Obey Sithole and Stephen Chuma said they will be leading the demonstrations from the front.

Mkwananzi, Masaraure, Sithole and Chuma are part of a list that was published by the Zimbabwe Republic Police of people whom they are keen to interview in connection with the demonstration.

“The 31st peaceful protests are continuing unabated. We say no to corruption. The list which Zimbabwe wants to see is the list of corrupt influential figures of our society.

“I will lead the protests from the front,” said Mkwananzi.

MDC Alliance deputy organising secretary Job Sikhala who is also in hiding has been releasing video clips calling on citizens to join the protests.

Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) president Peter Mutasa, former Zanu PF youth leaders Jim Kunaka and Godfrey Tsenengamu and MDC Youth Assembly secretary-general Ostallos Siziba are also on the police list of wanted persons.

According to MDC Alliance youth leader Obey Sithole, the demonstration is the people’s opportunity to stand up against gross corruption and mismanagement of the economy by Zanu PF.

“It (July 31) is the day for the people of Zimbabwe to stand up in utilization of their constitutional right and speak against bad governance, which is a culture that has destroyed this country.

“We are all Zimbabweans and we are equal victims of bad governance that’s why we all have a responsibility to come together and fight for a brighter and better future.

“I have learnt through the news that the police are looking for me and other fellow comrades for an issue best known to them. As far as I am concerned, we are not criminals and as such we take the inclusion of our names on the wanted list as baseless and misplaced,” he said.

Sithole vowed that he would be part and parcel of the protests on Friday, walking side by side with other Zimbabweans in demanding a better Zimbabwe.

Speaking on the same issue, ARTUZ leader Obert Musaraure said the protests are going ahead as scheduled and that he is on the ground organizing and mobilizing communities.

“This (July 31) is an embryo of the people’s struggle against exploitation and oppression. Over the coming weeks the embryo will grow until freedom is born.

“Citizens have rediscovered their voice, the material conditions have escalated the contradictions between the ruled majority and the looting ruling elite. The masses are agitated and are determined to reconfigure our society.

“The desperate use of excessive force by the ruling elites is a clear testimony that the ruling elites have run out of ideas and are in panic. The workers and peasants are being haunted from their homes by the despotic ruling class which is parasitic.

“I am literally living in the bush for simply demanding a living wage and an end to corruption. We warn the ruling elites to urgently resolve our legitimate demands or face sustained revolts from the masses,” he said.

MDC Alliance Youth Assembly spokesperson Stephen Chuma dismissed the police wanted list arguing that it was nothing more than a ploy bent to silence activists from speaking against corruption.

Chuma added that some members of the MDC Alliance Youth Assembly will also be leading the protests from the front.

“…We are leading from the front. We are mobilizing from every village and town, come Friday we will be on the forefront. July 31 protests is a people’s day and hence no individual has ability and capacity to stop it. Not even a useless and meaningless list can stop us from speaking against stinking corruption.

“The only proper candidates for any police interviews are those that looted COVID-19 funds and top of that list is Emmerson Mnangagwa, Collins Mnangagwa, Auxilia Mnangagwa, Obadiah Moyo, Obert Mpofu and Patrick Chinamasa.

“We urge all citizens to come in their numbers on 31 July as we tackle drivers of poverty,” he said.

The July 31st demonstrations are a brainchild of Transform Zimbabwe president Jacob Ngarivhume is currently remanded in custody at Harare Central Prison on allegation of trying to incite public violence and breaking the COVID-19 regulations.

However, Home Affairs Minister Kazembe Kazembe is of the view that the demonstration is a brainchild of MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa who is currently on leave following the death of his mother in Masvingo a few weeks ago.

He said the protests a ploy to reverse the outcome of the 2018 Presidential election, adding that security forces would not hesitate to clamp down on any citizen who would partake in the July 31 protests. Get all COVID-19 statistics for Zimbabwe from COVID-TRACKER

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Daniel Chigundu

Daniel Chigundu is the news editor for OpenParlyZW an online platform that covers Parliament of Zimbabwe activities using social media (Twitter and Facebook). He is currently the secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Parliamentary Journalists Forum and a board member of Digital Communication Network.

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