YOUTH Advocacy for Reform and Democracy (Yard) leader Temba Mliswa yesterday urged peaceful protesters to change strategy and focus on marching to President Robert Mugabe’s official residence at State House and avoid demonstrations in areas which expose ordinary people to violence.
Condemning the police’s heavy-handedness, Mliswa said it defeated the whole purpose if innocent people were caught up in violent clashes and lost their properties or businesses.
This came in the wake of a wave of protests which have been violently crushed by the police resulting in innocent bystanders falling victim
Mliswa also called for protest co-ordinators to take stock of achievements they had made through marches some of which had been hijacked by looters.
“I have advice to people who really are determined. Can they go on Google and try to find the way to State House? Why don’t you march there? You are allowed to go to him and say President this is what has happened. That is where he works and lives,” he told journalists in Harare yesterday.
“State House is there and let’s all march there. That is the march I am looking forward to and that is the march you will see me leading too. The day you decide to march to State House you can count on me because it’s a meaningful march. We will be taking to his office and say you are not hearing us and we are now coming to your home.”
Mliswa said it would be difficult to remove Mugabe from power through the protests, hence the change of tactics.
The former Hurungwe West MP, who is vying for the Norton constituency as an independent candidate, also expressed confidence that he would triumph over a divided Zanu PF.
He described as self-destructive the continuous boycotting of polls by the opposition.
“Opposition parties would do well to encourage increased voter registration as opposed to boycotting elections as boycotting cultivates a habit of voter apathy that is bound to work against them come 2018. Zanu PF is continuously registering new voters who, whether forcibly or not, participate in elections, thereby swinging votes in their favour,” Mliswa said.
He also accused Mugabe of setting a bad precedent by not condemning the “uncouth” behaviour of Zanu PF members who attack their seniors, including the Vice-Presidents who have been subjected to public scorn.
Mliswa warned Mugabe that one day he would be publicly humiliated by his juniors if he did not admonish disrespectful juniors.