By Mlondolozi Ndlovu
Bulawayo, September 12, 2016 – ANTI-GOVERNMENT activists, who have staged several demonstrations past few months demanding President Robert Mugabe to step down, on Sunday took their campaign to Barbourfields Stadium where local premiership football giants, Highlanders were hosting rivals Dynamos.
Dozens of protestors led by firebrand activist Hapson Ncube sneaked into the packed stadium where they took time during the exciting encounter to demand Mugabe’s exit.
Ncube, founder of the activist group, #Mugabemustgo, entered the stadium donning his t-shirt which had the controversial words inscribed on them.
“Police tried to arrest me for wearing the t-shirt,” he told RadioVOP.
“I boldly told them they must be reasonable as I was in fact also demonstrating on their behalf after the scrapping of their bonus payments for this year.
“They even followed me after the match and asked who was sponsoring our campaigns and I told them hunger was driving the campaign.”
Police seized Zimbabwean flags from some members of the group as they tried to make way into the stadium.
Ncube has also been part of the group, #Tajamuka/Sesijikile which has fronted continued demands for the 92-year-old leader to surrender his job.
The protesters did not have any trouble with fellow football spectators as the city is a known opposition stronghold.
The anti-Mugabe spirit was also strong among other soccer followers who were heard singing songs directed at victims of the 1980s Matabeleland genocide commonly referred to as Gukurahundi.
The dark period saw an estimated 20 000 civilians killed by a North Korean trained army unit under government’s ostensible attempts to hunt down armed insurgents who were sympathetic to then Mugabe rival and former Vice President Joshua Nkomo.
“UMugabe wabulala obaba bethu, (Mugabe exterminated our fathers),” some could be heard singing after the match.
It is however not the first time protesters have taken their campaigns to high profile sports events this year.
In August a group of protesters from the firebrand Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) and unemployed graduates who were wearing graduation gowns now used as a protest symbol against unemployment, were arrested at a cricket match in which Zimbabwe was hosting New Zealand in the city.