Church groups and civic society activists are planning to have a 16-day vigil outside the offices of provincial minister Shuvai Mahofa, to pray for the removal of President Robert Mugabe from office, saying millions of people are suffering due to the current social and economic problems allegedly caused by his ruling Zanu PF party.
The protesters are expected to hand over a petition to Mahofa, who will then forward it to Mr. Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe for more than 36 years. Independent economists say the country’s unemployment rate is believed to be between 85 and 90 percent.
On the other hand, the government insists that the unemployment rate is pegged at almost 11 percent.
The International Monetary Fund has already indicated that Zimbabwe’s economy is in doldrums.
Prophet Tapfumaneyi Clement Zenda of the Christian Voice International told Studio 7 that church leaders and their congregants will camp for 16 days at Burombo provincial state offices and pray hard to the Almighty for the removal of Mr. Mugabe from power.
“We as the church we believe we are the mouthpiece of the oppressed and those without a voice so here we are actually lifting our voices to God so that he hears our plight and to the authorities so that they may be sensitive to the plight of the people we are burdened by the situation whereby the authorities are concerned about their political terms at the expense of the people. Our economic situation has gone to the dogs. We have to look up to heaven to intervene.”
The Christians are expected to be joined by several civic society organizations. Community Tolerance and Reconciliation Development programs officer, Zivanai Muzorodzi, said they will also seek divine intervention while camping outside the provincial government offices.
“The government has failed to deliver since the last elections and we are now sliding back to 2008 political and economic chaos. It’s high time the citizens rise up and demand the authorities like Shuvai Mahofa and her partner in crime Robert Mugabe to step down. We are going to conduct prayers at Benjamin Burombo for them to hear our pleas. Our issues are clear they range from unemployment, corruption, cash crisis and incessant police roadblocks.”
Director Anoziva Muguti of the Masvingo United Residents and Ratepayers Alliance said residents are concerned about the continued violation of their socio-economic rights as a result of some challenges emanating from Zimbabwe’s economic meltdown.
“We are in the prayers to express ourselves to God and the authorities that the socio-economic rights of residents are under threat from the economic collapse. Issues like access to clean and portable water, education and health facilities’ for citizens are under serious threat therefor we say the authorities should step down.”
Two weeks ago, the same organizations were blocked by the police when they wanted to stage a peaceful protest on similar issues in the city. Mahofa was not reachable for comment as she was said to be busy attending to some urgent state business.