More protests like this needed, says #Tajamuka spokesperson
Zimbabwean nationals living in the Eastern Cape marched in Port Elizabeth on Saturday to express their anger at their government. The marchers demanded the immediate resignation of president Robert Mugabe blaming him for causing starvation and creating record unemployment.
The protesters, numbering about 200 including children, were not deterred by the cold and rainy weather.
They marched from the corner of Mount Road and Govan Mbeki Street. They turned into Russell Road where the group was joined by other Zimbabweans who are informal traders at the adjacent Main taxi rank. The group finally gathered at the City Hall where they were addressed by the organisers.
The march was organised by #Tajamuka, a group campaigning for Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe to step down.
#Tajamuka’s South Africa spokesperson, Shelton Chiyangwa said “The aim of the march is [to express]solidarity with people in Zimbabwe and across the diaspora to demand Robert Mugabe to step down immediately and pave way for a new administration elected under free and fair elections. As Zimbabweans we have been patient enough.”
Chiyangwa said Mugabe was the cause of all the suffering in Zimbabwe. He said that given Mugabe’s age, 92, it was clear that he could not lead the country anymore.
Chiyangwa said, “Zimbabweans have been protesting against the Mugabe regime for a long time now. It is just that this time the pressure has increased because there is intense poverty and suffering at home. It is known in the history of the country that for over 17 years now Zimbabweans have been calling for the old limping donkey to go.”
He continued: “Our crises have reached a stage where we cannot afford to sleep and watch whilst this evil ancestor abuses our people in Zimbabwe.”
Chiyangwa explained that the situation in Zimbabwe had reached a tipping point and people should put pressure on Mugabe and his government to leave office by holding marches like this one.
“The situation at home is not only bad but scary and pathetic. Citizens are subjected to torture and brutality at the hands of the police and the army. There’s no freedom of speech and expression. Journalists are also being arrested for doing their job. Millions of citizens are facing starvation. For how long shall we live in foreign countries where we’re being humiliated and reduced to trash? We want to pack our bags some day and go back home where there will be equal opportunities ”
Another member of #Tajamuka, Rudo Mukamuri, said companies were closing down in Zimbabwe because the government was corrupt and stifling investment. She also raised issues with the recent laws enacted by the Harare government banning the importation of goods including foodstuffs from South Africa.
She said “The banning of goods from entering Zimbabwe from South Africa is only meant to starve our families in Zimbabwe.They depend on us and this shows that Mugabe is now insane. It is no secret that there is no food in Zimbabwe. We therefore humbly appeal to SADC and especially South Africa to intervene and knock sense [into]Mugabe.”
Some placards read “Please God take Mugabe ” while others had “Robert Mugabe must step down”.