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Is Zanu PF Addressing Zimbabwe Protesters' Grievances?

FILE: Vendors leader Sten Zvorwadza and some children attempt to give police flowers and cakes as a sign of love.

President Robert Mugabe’s government has not yet indicated how it will fix the ailing economy despite calls by Zimbabweans for it to address serious social and economic problems bedeviling the southern African nation.

The government has been moving around the world with a begging bowl looking for lines of credit to repay its ballooning external debt of about 9 billion dollars, to build a new building for legislators and embark on housing projects for Zanu PF activists.

Activists on the other hand, are demanding that President Robert Mugabe should step down for allegedly failing to run the country. The activists like Tajamuka-Sesijikile Campaign, #thisgown and Pastor Evan Mawarire’s #thisflag campaign want the ruling party to create jobs and a conducive environment for prosperity.

A rioter wearing a police helmet taken from a police officer joins angry protestors in Harare, Monday, July, 4, 2016.
A rioter wearing a police helmet taken from a police officer joins angry protestors in Harare, Monday, July, 4, 2016.

But is the ruling party reacting favorably to people’s demands. For perspective, Studio 7 reached Zanu PF lawmaker Joseph Tshuma and MDC-T legislator and the party’s deputy spokesperson Thabitha Khumalo.

Tshuma said Zanu PF is doing all it can to address people’s concerns.

“Zanu PF as the party that is ruling has always been committed to solving issues that are affecting the citizens of Zimbabwe. Like what I have said in other fora, for us to function we need everybody to embrace the resolute stand of turning around the economy through FDIs (foreign direct investments), through synchronized works and systems but then we have got people that will get out there and paint a totally bad picture of Zimbabwe.

“I don’t know how you then expect those investors that have been courted to come when they are told that Zimbabwe is not safe …”

Reacting to Tshuma’s remarks, Khumalo said Tshuma appeared to be talking like a person who does not live in Zimbabwe.

“I have a lot of respect for Tshuma but I don’t know whether we are talking about the same country. You are in Zanu PF … Come 2013 elections in the manifesto you promised us 2.2 million jobs. As we speak now we have 2.2 million vendors.

“… The issue of human rights violations that is where you are upping your game. You are busy fighting with students that are coming to you saying that they want their jobs, they qualified from universities and now they are vendors. And all what you do to them is to release teargas and button sticks on these kids.

Zimbabwe Riots
Zimbabwe Riots

“You have vendors telling you that ‘if you want us to stop vending create jobs then we will leave vending to go and work. What do you do? You release teargas and button sticks on these people and of late you have been releasing teargas even in people’ offices. I am a victim of teargas that was thrown into our party headquarters.”

Protesters recently shut down Zimbabwe and in turn police descended on them, beat up some of the protesters and locked up others claiming that they were sponsored by the West to effect regime change in the country.

Interview With Thabitha Khumalo and Joseph Tshuma on Protesters' Grievances
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