As the Zimbabwean economy stubbornly continues on its free-fall, and both poverty and unemployment rates reach catastrophic levels, MDC youths say they will dethrone President Robert Mugabe this year.
Youth leader for the Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC, Happymore Chidziva, also said that t 2017 was “a year of civil disobedience” during which their determination to oust Mugabe from power would bear fruits.
He also vowed to lead party youths into the rural areas from next month onwards, where the ruling Zanu PF holds sway — to mobilise villagers to oppose Mugabe, and to get them to register to vote in the eagerly-anticipated 2018 national elections, “should our struggle against the nonagenarian drag until then”.
“We have declared 2017 the year of people’s power and we shall continue to engage this brutal government peacefully, because peaceful resistance is the only meaningful means of confrontation in the face of a vicious and vindictive dictatorship of Mugabe’s nature,” Chidziva said.
Nicknamed ‘‘Bvondo’’ because of his robust approach to politics, Chidziva also said MDC youths had resolved to face the consequences of their actions against the government.
“We are in the period of civil defiance and we shall be in the rural areas mobilising people to remove the regime through all peaceful means necessary.
We are not afraid of the consequences because there is nothing to fear, for we stand to lose nothing. I can liken our situation to the three biblical lepers who realised that either way they were doomed, and so the only logical action open to them was to go into the city.
“Guess what the result was . . . the city was liberated. We shall do likewise. We are ready to lose our lives for the people’s freedom,” Chidziva declared boldly.
Mugabe and Zanu PF have over the past 36 years been accused of unleashing a reign of terror in the country, particularly the rural areas, to remain in power.
The planned defiance by the MDC youths comes as a wave of anti-government protests staggered the government for most of last year, including when angry women marched against grinding poverty and hunger in the country.
Protests also erupted in Beitbridge as traders showed their unhappiness with the government’s recent decision to ban the importation of basic goods.
In addition, social media has also increasingly become an important organising platform for Zimbabweans agitating for change in the country.
A social media movement dubbed #ThisFlag, which was led by activist clergyman, Pastor Evan Mawarire, has been described as one of the biggest civic movements in the country’s history.