President Robert Mugabe’s remarks on Tuesday at the burial of national hero, Charles Utete, have attracted scorn among protesters and support from Zanu PF activists.
Stanley Zvorwadza, chairperson of the National Vendors Union Zimbabwe, who has led protests against the harassment of vendors and the continued stay of Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko at Rainbow Towers Hotel, said the president is now out of touch with reality.
Zvorwadza noted that the president’s remarks are causing friction in the country.
“He hasn't seen protests yet. What he has seen is just a clip of the smallest of what he can ever expect in terms of protests. The real protests are coming and we are saying we will be obviously be deported back into Zimbabwe because our problems are in Zimbabwe.
“We will not be intimidated by forces that think that they are in power and will intimidate the owners of the country. Surely the president with his advanced age should know that the youths and other people in the country deserve to be honoured and do what they want.”
Francis Rwodzi, deputy spokesperson of Tajamuka-Sesijike Campaign, told Studio 7 that President Mugabe is wrong by classifying those that have genuine concerns as non-Zimbabweans.
Rwodzi called on Mr. Mugabe to instead address problems that are affecting Zimbabweans instead of attacking people who are unhappy about the way he is running the country.
“What is disturbing is that he is trying to say that Pastor Evan Mawarire is not a Zimbabwean and all those that are angry. As Tajamuka-Sesijike we are saying there is no Zimbabwean who is more equal than the other. If we have concerns the leadership should address the concerns.”
Hardlife Mudzingwa, an unemployed youth, echoed the same sentiments, adding that he is happy that the president is now aware that most Zimbabweans are unhappy about his rule.
“It is an expression that he now knows that things are not well in Zimbabwe. It is an expression that he acknowledges the resentment shown by Zimbabweans. The tone of his message expresses the long held idea that he has no willingness to tackle the challenges that Zimbabweans are facing and he is incapable of doing anything in ensuring that cross borders are able to do their work and those that are unemployed have access to employment.”
But Godswill Gauzani, a Zanu PF supporter who was part of those that marched in Harare today to counter people protesting against the government, said anyone who speaks against the president is diving the nation.
“The president is very correct … 100 %. We cannot tolerate such pastors in Zimbabwe because we are a united nation. We do not need someone who comes and divides us in any way. We do not tolerate it.”
Zimbabweans have been staging protests in the country with some demanding that the president should step down for allegedly running down a once vibrant economy.