THE government has threatened to crush today’s planned “grand” demonstration over the introduction of bond notes, but Tajamuka/Sesijikile and other organisers have vowed to fight back, vowing no amount of violence will stop them.
Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo yesterday said people should embrace bond notes, as they were already in circulation and stop what he termed grandstanding.
“They did not seek authority to do that (demonstrate) and, as a responsible government, we will not allow that to happen,” he said.
“Everyone has embraced the bond notes. Only the so-called Nera (National Electoral Reform Agenda), which is, in actual fact, a nonentity, is trying to make noise. They must embrace the bond notes and stop grandstanding.”
But the protest organisers vowed to go ahead and resist the police’s heavy-handedness.
MDC-T youth leader, Happymore Chidziva, under the #MyZimbabwe campaign, justified the demonstration, which comes after the introduction of bond notes, saying they had to fight “this economic genocide”.
“The government promised to consult people first and we know people were going to say no to the bond notes, but the government has forcefully introduced them against the will of the people,” he said.
“The demonstrations we are going to have now are called defiance campaigns. This is a period of defiance, which starts tomorrow (today) and the government will surely be defied by its people until it respects the people.
“We are basically not afraid of getting into the streets. People are prepared to mix and mingle with batons and teargas. We are not afraid. We are fighting against police brutality and the setting-up of the militia against the people. We will be in full force to defend the people.”
Tajamuka spokesperson, Silvanos Mudzvova said although the bond notes had begun circulating, they still needed to send a message to the government.
“We want the government to respect the Constitution of this country. Now they have started Parliamentary outreaches in provinces, yet these were supposed to be done before the bond notes were introduced,” he said.
“What it means is that the bond notes are not legal tender and people still have a right to refuse them.
“This is why we are saying, tomorrow (today), let’s meet and make sure that we bring out this message loud to RBZ (Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe) and to the government that we are not amused at the manner they are taking us back to the 2008 period.”
Many protests against the government have ended in violence following serious clashes between the police and the demonstrators.
At one point, the government introduced statutory instruments to ban people from demonstrating.
On Monday, police swooped on two Tajamuka leaders, Promise Mkwananzi and Mehluli Dube, who were addressing journalists in the capital.
Recently, suspected State-sponsored militia reportedly abducted leaders of a failed demonstration dubbed #MunhuWeseMuRoad (Everyone Into The Streets).
One of the organisers, Patson Dzamara, was hospitalised after the attack, while his vehicle and a colleague’s were burnt to shells.-amh