Cape Town – Zimbabwean activist Stern Zvorwadza has vowed to defy the ban imposed on all protests in the capital Harare, saying a mother of all demonstrations was planned for Monday.
Speaking to News24 on Friday, Zvorwadza said that Zimbabweans who were protesting against President Robert Mugabe’s government were ready for a massive but peaceful demonstration in Harare.
He said the protest would mark an end to the ongoing abuses by the police.
“On Monday we are going to stage the mother of all protests in the capital Harare. The police can do what they have been doing in the past, but we would not be shaken. I would rather die than be told what I can or not do,” said Zvorwadza.
Zimbabwean police on Thursday issued a ban on all protests in the capital for the next two weeks.
The notice cited a lack of manpower to prevent disorder. It said that demonstrations would only be allowed after September 16.
The notice also stated that anyone taking part in protests before then, could be imprisoned for up to a year.
Harare has been rocked by weeks of near-daily protests over a plummeting economy, allegations of corruption and Mugabe’s decades-long rule.
Police have often used tear gas, water cannons and open violence to crush the demonstrations.
Zvorwadza also took a swipe at government officials, who labelled as terrorists all those protesting against Mugabe’s regime. He said it was unfortunate that those in authority only cared about their comfort at the expense of millions of the poor in Zimbabwe.
“The ministers who are calling us terrorists are losers, because we know that we represent peace. They have murdered people for which some have just disappeared without a trace. Where is Itai Dzamara? So they must first clean themselves before labelling us terrorists.
“They are the terrorists that work for a mafia that has murdered people mercilessly while we are fighting for a better future for generations to come,” he said.