By Mlondolozi Ndlovu
Harare, June 17, 2016 – A campaign demanding President Robert Mugabe’s government to deliver on its mandate which has seen activists stage night vigils at Africa Unity Square in Harare, has now been taken to the country’s second largest city, Bulawayo where a group of activists are now “occupying” the grounds at Bulawayo City Hall.
The campaign, started by abducted journalist turned activist Itai Dzamara in October 2014, was recently taken up by a group of Harare youths led by the Zimbabwe Activists Alliance.
The activists were arrested nearly half way into a 16 day night vigil on alleged robbery and obstruction of justice, charges which they insist were concocted by the state to stop their protests.
They have since been granted an exorbitant $1000 bail each by the courts but have failed to raise the amounts leading to their prolonged stay in remand prison.
However, this has not dampened the spirits of Zimbabwe’s increasingly resistant activist movement which has seen a new crop of activists led by firebrand and former University of Zimbabwe students union president Gift “Ostallos” Siziba crop up.
Siziba told RadioVOP on Thursday that although they were being monitored by suspected state agents who were visiting the city hall, they would remain vigilant and continue with their campaign.
“We the Bulawayo occupants have been threatened by visits by unknown persons coming to the city hall, but due to the fact that our comrades are still in custody, we remain committed for we know if it was us, the comrades would have done the same level of solidarity; so against this backdrop of suffering, we remain committed,” said Siziba.
He said they will not fear anything more than the poverty that they were already being subjected to under the current government.
Siziba said they have lost confidence in the current government to a point where prison was “better than outside”.
“The poor people we occupied with confirmed that we the poor are left with nothing to eat than the rich. We cannot be like our other comrade who have been reduced to be slaves of hope and victims of fear, we will soldier on!” he added.
Siziba revealed that they had spent 6 days and the number of those occupying Bulawayo City Hall had risen to 14 claiming the numbers would increase with time.