By Dylan Murambgi
Harare, August 25, 2016 – MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai and fellow organisers of Friday’s foiled mega march have vowed not to relent on their demands for electoral reforms by the Zanu PF led government and have rescheduled the march to next Friday.
Speaking under their umbrella association, National Electoral Reform Agenda (NERA) on Friday, the leaders took turns to slam police for defying a court order which barred the state from interfering with the march.
“We are going next Friday to do exactly the same as we have done today,” NERA convener Didymus Mutasa said while presenting the joint press statement in Harare Friday.
Parties that signed up to Friday’s march were 18.
In his address, Mutasa said the police’s disregard of a court order and the subsequent beatings on protesters later in the day was the worst day in his life,
He further said the leaders were set to take their case up with SADC, AU and the UN.
“We also want to appeal to SADC to ensure that during their coming session in Swaziland, they will take this matter very, very seriously indeed,” Mutasa said.
However, responding to questions from journalists, Tsvangirai denied state claims he and his party were responsible for Friday’s violence.
He insisted police were culprits through their decision to ban a lawful march.
“We don’t condone violence but unfortunately, violence begets violence,” Tsvangirai said.
“When the police, knowing full well that it’s within the constitutional rights of these people to express themselves do otherwise, then it is them that have to be accountable.”
Zimbabwe People First leader Joice Mujuru also said Friday’s violence was predictable as Zimbabweans’ patience had been pushed too far by the bungling Mugabe regime.
“As you know, this thing (crisis) has been there for a long time and when people are bottling this for too long you know what it is that will happen and these are the results,” Mujuru said of the violence.
“We can’t blame them for that and they have been whispering their anger and nobody has been giving an ear for that and this is what we are witnessing. If we are not going to get a response sooner, then we are going to wait until the day for voting comes and you will see the results.”
Western governments have already slammed the state instigated violence through their local embassies and have further urged the Zanu PF led government to respect the country’s laws.
Tensions remain high in the country after the current government has failed to reverse a debilitating economic crisis that has seen firms shut down while pushing millions into the jobless market.
Government blames the crisis on western imposed sanctions of top government politicians accused of rights abuses, as well as drought.