Amid debilitating chaos, former Vice President Joice Mujuru, who is now leading her own political outfit Zimbabwe People First (ZPF), has called on President Robert Mugabe to call for fresh elections, stating that the Zanu PF government has totally failed.
Addressing journalists yesterday at her Highlands residence, Mujuru said the current wave of riots is the clearest sign yet that the economy has collapsed.“In view of these myriad problems, we challenge…Mugabe to call for fresh elections now to get a new mandate if he thinks people have forgotten his promise of two million jobs,” she said.Commenting on the current wave of protests, Mujuru said the police must not brutalise people who are demonstrating peacefully.
Police should protect the demonstrators, the demonstrators are the people, don’t forget those demonstrators are the government, that the police and other security agents should be protecting.“Instead of repressing and suppressing the popular sentiments among the people manifesting in the demonstrations, government has to address the cause of the myriad of problems facing the country,” she said.
Mujuru also castigated government’s decision to ban imports of basics without a competitive local industry to meet demand.
“The importation of basic commodities was providing a livelihood whilst meeting the gap caused by the lack of local industrial production. This is even more telling when such a decision was taken when there is rampant unemployment at over 80 percent,” Mujuru said.She said import licences will only benefit Zanu PF cadres, while the rest of the genuine importers will have to buy these licences from the ruling party stalwarts at a premium.
“This will in turn, make the cost of these imports higher than they were before. If indeed we are genuine in protecting local industry, why are we not extending the ban to all sectors of the economy including access to foreign medical facilities and services?” she asked, adding that the government and police have been turned into tax collectors through roadblocks that are in turn fuelling corruption.