THE April 7 MDC-T march against the $15billion diamond loot has been moved to a later date after the security services’ Joint Operations Command (JOC) told party officials Friday to make way for President Robert Mugabe’s meeting with war veterans scheduled for the same day.
JOC told the MDC-T that their planned march clashed with Mugabe’s meeting with the war veterans in Harare and, as such, an adjustment on the opposition’s part was necessary for “security reasons”.
Midlands Senator, Morgan Komichi, who is chairing the organising committee for the demonstration, said their meeting with JOC, which took place at Harare Central Police Station, was cordial.
“We complied with the request from JOC to change the date because we do not want any confrontation with anyone,” Komichi told Newzimbabwe.com.
Even though the dates have been changed, police have yet to give MDC-T the green light to go ahead with the “people’s march”, according to Komichi.
Senator Komichi, however, hinted that even if police were to deny the party permission to demonstrate, the march would still go ahead as planned on the new date agreed upon which is April 14.
“We spoke about peace in all areas of operations and denying us our constitutional right to demonstrate would be unfair to us and the majority of Zimbabweans who want to have a better life,” Komichi said.
He added, “Former Zanu War Veterans Chairman Jabulani Sibanda organised a successful million men march and the party’s National Youth League currently headed by Deputy Secretary Kudzai Chipanga is organising a march for youths in May this year, so there is no reason for MDC-T to be denied the right to march.”
In a statement, MDC-T Secretary General, Douglas Mwonzora, said party members were not “afraid of cells and jails”.
“If the government wants to avert the demonstration, it must retrieve the $15 billion that was stolen by government officials and avail 2 million jobs promised in the 2013 Zanu P campaign manifesto.
“We wish to advise JOC that with or without their permission the people’s march will go ahead. Our people have a constitutional right to demonstrate and no government or state official will stop that,” said Mwonzora.
The MDC-T says the march is meant to push Mugabe’s government to find means to end mass poverty and endemic corruption in the after math of revelations that billions were looted from Chiadzwa over the years. According to Mugabe, as much as $15 billion was looted by mining firms.