Supporters of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and his opponents are set to clash in New York this Saturday, while the 92-year-old Zimbabwean leader is attending the United Nations General Assembly.
Mr. Mugabe’s allies, the December 12 Movement International, says it will organize a counter protest to the one being proposed by Pastor Evan Mawarire’s #thisflag movement, #thisgown, the Movement for Democratic Change led by Morgan Tsvangirai and Tajamuka Sesijikile Campaign, which want the government to address serious social, economic and political problems facing the southern African nation.
Zimbabweans have been of late protesting against what they call Mr. Mugabe’s iron-fist rule, which they blame for the current problems bedeviling the country.
Some of the groups want President Mugabe to step down saying he is to blame for the crisis in Zimbabwe.
Omowale Clay, spokesperson of December 12 Movement, blamed Zimbabwe’s deteriorating situation on people they believe are being sponsored by the West to destabilize the country.
“We understand that Zimbabwe is a country that has come under the onslaught of western sanctions and efforts to distabilize Zimbabwe externally and create motions inside Zimbabwe to destabilize internally …”
The organization added that they are ready for anti-Mugabe protesters. “Our demonstration is not just continual effort for Zimbabwe but importantly it is to say to those forces organized and funded and preferred by United States, Britain and Western European countries to seek regime change in Zimbabwe they use Zimbabweans against themselves, against their own country.”
At the same time, Tamburai Gwekwere, secretary of the MDCT-USA province, said they ready for the march.
"...It will be a good thing to have as many Zimbabweans as we can at that stage,” he said, noting that they are not concerned about the December 12 Movement protest.
“…(December 12 Movement) They obviously have this ideology of this Mugabe, this old Mugabe, who did so much in the liberation war, so much as Africans and I believe they don’t have the truth and understanding of Mugabe now, the Mugabe who is in charge of a country which is going down … I just hope it will shake in their minds, to question themselves, why do we have so many Zimbabwean here saying Mugabe must go …”
Zimbabwean authorities have banned protests in the capital city, Harare, claiming that recent protests were violent and were plunging the country into a political crisis. A court declared the ban illegal saying it violated the constitution, which gives local people the right to protest peacefully.