HARARE – Following the crushing of anti-bond note demonstrations organised by the MDC-T youth wing and other political parties in Harare on Wednesday, MDC-T President Morgan Tsvangirai said the party was undeterred and would push on with more demonstrations.
Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters in Harare on Thursday, Tsvangirai said the Zimbabwe government should choose between repression and engagement, saying heavy-handedness only served to fuel people’s resolve.
“We in the MDC believe that national mobilisation is important to express our displeasure at the way the economy is being run, or mismanaged, and therefore we will continue to do it in spite of the brute response that government sometimes resorts to,” he said.
He said the government should understand the fact that people were not stupid and should rather inculcate a culture of tolerance.
“People will always express themselves; in fact the more you put pressure on the spring, the more the rebounce. This government has to make a choice between repression and engagement because repression leads to more repression, but it will not stop people from expressing themselves. In fact, it will build up. The moment people start expressing themselves, you can’t stop them from expressing themselves over discontent on how you’re running things,” he said.
He said it was regrettable that the police were using brute force against peaceful Zimbabweans who were using their Constitutional right to express themselves.
Tsvangirai said the introduction of the bond notes by the government was suicidal, adding the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe should have considered adopting the South African rand instead.
“If you look outside, you see the dark picture just at the bank there across the road. All I can say is that it is ill-advised. I said at one point that in introducing the USD we should have prepared to use the opportunity to create our own currency three or four years down the line because the USD, we don’t have much activity with the US economy,” he said.
He added: “Now, given the current crisis of cash shortages, 95 percent of our economic activity are with the rand. We can all be proud to be Zimbabweans with our own dollar but worth nothing,” he said.
He said it was high time the people of Zimbabwe brought to the attention of Zanu PF that their policies were short-lived.
Police on Wednesday used teargas and water cannons to crush a demonstration against the controversial bond notes, which the government has forced on the people despite large-scale resistance from various sectors of the economy and opposition political parties.
Africa News Agency