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Zimbabweans Vow to Stage More Protests Despite Mugabe Clampdown Threats

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, centre, gestures after addressing members of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association, at the party headquarters, in Harare on July, 27, 2016.

Some opposition parties and civic society groups are condemning President Robert Mugabe for threatening to crush any future protests saying such utterances are a direct attack on the country’s constitution that Mr. Mugabe is supposed to be its custodian.

Speaking at a meeting he held with some war veterans and Zanu PF supporters at the ruling party’s headquarters in Harare yesterday, President Mugabe warned protesters that his government would crush any form of protests against the government.

Mr. Mugabe said demonstrators would rot in jail if they were caught by authorities in the streets.

Former Energy Minister Elton Mangoma, leader of the opposition Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe party, castigated Mr. Mugabe for making these remarks saying such utterances are an affront to Zimbabwe’s constitution.

Former Finance Minister and leader of the Mavambo Kusile Dawn party, Simba Makoni, added that President Mugabe’s remarks were an indication that his government applies the law selectively.

Promise Mkwananzi, spokesperson of Tajamuka-Sesijikile Campaign, a coalition of youths in political parties and civic organizations, said his organization was determined to mobilize Zimbabweans to stage protests against Mr. Mugabe’s government.

He said no amount of threats would deter them from engaging in peaceful demonstrations against the deteriorating social and economic situation in the country.

Meanwhile, Kurauone Chihwayi, spokesperson of the MDC formation led by former Industry Minister Welshman Ncube, has urged the Southern African Development Community and the African Union to intervene in Zimbabwe, saying the security of the country’s citizens was now at risk.

Chihwayi’s sentiments were echoed by Movement For Democratic Change and Zunde political party leader, Gilbert Dzikiti, who said it was worrying that SADC and AU leaders are not engaging President Mugabe on human rights violations in his country.

Hundreds of demonstrators were arrested in recent weeks after staging anti-government protests in some parts of the country. MDC-T youths insist that they are going ahead with their plan to engage in sustained nationwide protests in August to press Mr. Mugabe to leave office for allegedly failing to run Zimbabwe.