THE Nelson Chamisa-led opposition MDC is priming its membership for another wave of demonstrations to force President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government to urgently address the country’s deteriorating socio-economic and political situation.
Party secretary-general Charlton Hwende yesterday said the party was geared to push Mnangagwa to the negotiating table to resolve the socio-economic and political crisis.
“The (MDC’s 20th anniversary) celebrations are part of that process of mobilising our people so that we can fight for whatever that we are fighting for. The issue of legitimacy has not been resolved and our people resolved throughout the country that we must mobilise Zimbabweans to ensure that they are on the streets and that all the issues that we have raised, all the issues that we want to be rectified in this country are rectified. You can see the economic collapse; prices are increasing on a daily basis and salaries have been eroded by inflation, so those are the issues we will be mobilising for. Immediately after our anniversary, we are back on the streets,” Hwende told NewsDay.
The MDC, which postponed its 20th anniversary celebrations from last Saturday to September 28 to honour the late former President Robert Mugabe, said it will not rest until Mnangagwa joins them on the negotiating table.
“As a party, we are busy mobilising our people, oiling them so that when we call for national action it will happen and they will respond in the numbers that we want; the numbers that will force this government to come and sit on a negotiating table with the MDC so that we can chart a new direction for Zimbabwe,” Hwende said.
MDC had planned to roll out similar countrywide protests in August, but they were all banned by the police.
This came as Mnangagwa yesterday took to his official social media page and wished the MDC well ahead of their celebrations.
“Congratulations to MDC on your 20th anniversary this week, though we have our differences, this is what democracy is all about. I look forward to many more years of debate and dialogue,” Mnangagwa wrote.
There has been a renewed push locally and internationally for Mnangagwa and Chamisa – the front-runners in last year’s disputed presidential election – to smoke the peace pipe and dialogue to end the deepening economic crisis, characterised by a weak local currency, high inflation rate, fuel and power shortages.
Chamisa has refused to recognise Mnangagwa’s narrow victory, citing electoral fraud.