By Dylan Murambgi
Harare, November 19, 2016 – INDEPENDENT legislator for Norton, Temba Mliswa says current protests against government were futile as President Robert Mugabe’s government was always ready to meet them with brute force.
Mliswa said opposition parties should instead direct their energies towards campaigning for more support in rural areas where their following has been poor.
He was speaking to RadioVOP in the wake of continued threats by opposition forces to push for electoral law reforms, stop the introduction of bond notes, among some of the reasons.
Some activist groups have gone further to demand President Mugabe’s immediate exit claiming he was the author of the country’s myriad problems.
But Mliswa felt this was misdirected energy as the state was always ready to counter any threats intended towards the removal of the incumbent.
“To me it has never achieved anything.,” Mliswa said.
“The only result we have got are people getting arrested, tear-gassed, property of innocent people being damaged.
“You need numbers, probably a hundred thousand people. The day a hundred thousand people march, that’s the day police will join them, soldiers will join them.”
Mliswa said protests done in Harare were always bound to be resisted effectively by the establishment.
“When you come into Harare you are coming into the headquarters of the police, Morris Depot, the headquarters of the army,” he said.
The former Zanu PF chair for Mashonaland West said odds were always against protesters as Zimbabweans were generally a peace loving lot that would not easily be encouraged to join protests at their risk.
“Sadc will not tolerate a coup in southern Africa either,” Mliswa said.
“Generally, Zimbabweans are in a peace loving mode and any reminder of such makes them hibernate and refuse to come out.”
Mliswa said it was time political parties refocused their energies towards making campaigns in rural areas “where the majority are and not in cities”
Zimbabweans have in recent months been protesting to demand more accountable leadership from the Mugabe led regime.
The protests have often been met with brutalities by the state with rights groups saying the police have turned fierce violators of human rights in attempt to protect Zimbabwe’s long serving leader’s rule.
Harare rights activist Patson Dzamara was on Friday abducted and tortured by suspected state agents who were trying to block an anti-bond notes protests which the rights defender had been organising with fellow activists.