Today is 31 July (Jurai if it’s Cde Regasi), 2020. For the past month we have been bombarded with all sorts of threats regarding how the MDC Alliance supporters were going to flood the streets of Harare, the capital city, and all other cities across the country. As I drove around town, Harare resembled a ghost city. There is absolutely no sign of human life in sight. In as much as we all agree that Zanu Pf junta government must go, it is ill-advised to just wake up and call a date to demonstrate.
We have said it before that protests take a lot of consulting and planning. All key stakeholders need to be involved in the planning and the end game clearly defined and agreed upon.
The danger with a know it all approach by today’s planners of the demo, where Nelson Chamisa makes a declaration without consulting anybody and expect everyone to simply follow, results in unintended outcomes. All the momentum built on and around the personality of Chamisa easily evaporates as the intended flooding of the streets with protesters has dismally failed. What has succeeded is a total shutdown, but to whose benefit/loss? We are already in a biting COVID-19 lockdown and if we consider that over 90% of the working force is self employed and live by the day and can not budget beyond two days, today”s shutdown affects us more.
There is already a false narrative that we have successfully shut down the economy/country. That is a lie. For starters there is just no economy to talk about. Secondly, what has happened today is the junta government has succeeded in instilling fear in the prospective demonstrators. The shutdown is an unintended positive outcome which today’s planners must never claim glory for.
Today’s events will be used by the ZanuPf junta Pfeeee government to say Chamisa has run out of steam to call for effective demonstrations. It makes it difficult for would be protestors to come out again in support of such an otherwise noble cause. Under the current circumstances, it’s my humble submission that demos will never take place. Other means of resolving the Zimbabwe question needs to be found.That is my next opinion piece.
From a business perspective and someone who is an employer,we want an economy that is conducive for work. Zimbabwe needs a way forward. We can not continue to live in abject poverty due to political differences. Both President ED Mnangagwa and Nelson Chamisa must get into a boxing ring and enter into a fist fight if they have personal differences.We are tired of being entangled in their drama. We do not eat politics. Enough of this nonsense.
Norest Mujambajecha Marara is a renowned Shipping, Logistics and Business Executive.He is a founding member of the MDC of President Morgan Tsvangirai. He was late President Tsvangirai’s personal friend and golf partner. He writes in his personal capacity.