We shared an update from today’s Mega Demo via WhatsApp and asked Kubatana members to share their thoughts. Here is some of what we heard:
Mega Demo Update
Police in Harare today used tear gas and water cannons to disperse crowds gathering for the NERA Mega Demo to demand electoral reforms. The demonstration, called by 18 political parties (including MDC-T, MDC-N, Zim PF, PDP, Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe, Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn, Transform Zimbabwe, Freedom Front, Zanu Ndonga, ADP, PDZ, Dare, Zim First, Zunde, FreeZim Congress) was given permission from the High Court to go ahead from 12 noon – 4pm at the open space behind Rainbow Towers. By 9am there was a heavy presence of police all over Harare with multiple roadblocks on major roads leading into the Central Business District. Large stones were thrown across Rotten Row, blocking traffic. Protesters were chased away from Freedom Square and regrouped singing in front of Rotten Row Magistrate Court. Police dispersed them from there as well. Demonstrators regrouped in small numbers singing and protesting in Harare’s Central Business District. In the afternoon, demonstrators including political party leaders regrouped at the open space. They were blocked by police who refused to allow the demonstration to proceed, despite being shown the High Court order. In the High Court order giving the go ahead for the Mega Demo, Justice Mwayera ordered the police not to interfere with the demonstration and to respect the law and international statutes.
How we see it
- The overreaction of the Government is indicative of their fear of legitimate dissenting views
- The wave of citizen resistance is rising
- The courage of Zimbabweans willing to root resistance in the streets is inspiring
- Weak presence of leadership from NERA political parties and low turn out of party members made it easy for police to disperse protesters and effectively ban the demo, despite the High Court go ahead.
How do you see it? Share your views.
- Political leadership still reluctant to go to the forefront. It is as if they are waiting for the supporters to lead. The leaders want to lead from behind.
- The art of confusion is even ruining the state to its grave! Because when you pass a law in any house you should know you are passing it even on yourself. It’s utter nuisance when it’s your bitter pill to swallow.
- Very concerning that there was weak leadership. It might mean true leadership is yet to emerge – and that the real crisis in Zimbabwe is lack of leadership.
- Am glad you see it well. I second your idea that fear will never bring this change. Leaders showing fear on their endeavours.
- They have to stand firm these guys because Zanu PF never quit this system.
- It’s such a sad situation that leaders of the opposition political parties have developed cold feet. A revolution needs men and women of spine. Amadhodha sibili. So it’s up to them whether they have the political will to lead supporters from the front or from at home.
- These leaders are letting people down their presence was going to inspire people.