Mugadza stages another one-man demo
Bridget Mananavire 1 June 2017
HARARE – Activist cleric Phillip Mugadza, who is being charged for
predicting that President Robert Mugabe would die on October 17 this year,
yesterday staged another one-man anti-government demo in Harare.
With a wooden yoke around his neck and waving a placard inscribed “Nahum
1:13“, Mugadza spoke against corruption in government and railed against
the First Family for monopolising the country, during his protest along
the once-famed First Street.
“The first family has become a problem and this yoke is a symbol of how
the problems are weighing on citizens.
“Zimbabweans are burdened and sacrificing the lives of their children by
not confronting the government,” he told the Daily News on the side-line
of his demo.
“I also want to announce that I will be joining the Occupy Africa Unity
Square movement to make sure Itai Dzamara’s fight continues and everybody
Dzamara – a man who once took to the streets alone demanding Mugabe’s
immediate resignation – was allegedly abducted in March 2015 by suspected
State agents while he was having a haircut in the high density suburb of
He has never been seen since then.
Ahead of his abduction, Dzamara was at one time severely assaulted by the
police during a protest.
Since the abduction, Itai’s wife, and his brother Patson have staged a
number of peaceful demonstrations dubbed “Occupy Africa Unity Square” at
the Africa Unity Square park where the missing scribe held his protests.
Like Itai, Mugadza has adopted a unique form of activism against
93-year-old Mugabe’s governance.
The case in which he is being charged for predicting that Mugabe would die
in October this year was this week referred to the Constitutional Court
after he argued the charges infringed on his rights to free speech.
He has repeatedly chained himself to rails opposite the Parliament
building, and near Africa Unity Square park, before preaching against the
alleged evils of the Mugabe regime.
He believes his role is synonymous to the biblical Moses who led the
exodus of the Israelites out of Egypt and across the Red Sea.
Poignantly, he says he has taken up Moses’ task to free Zimbabweans from
Zanu PF bondage.
Mugadza has also called on the Pope to excommunicate Mugabe for being
responsible for terror, intimidation and political killings.
He also accused Mugabe of presiding over a government that “has caused
unimaginable levels of poverty”.
Excommunication is the Catholic Church’s most severe penalty imposed for
particularly grave sins.
Through baptism, a person is incorporated into the body of the church
through which there is a “communication” of spiritual goods.
By committing a particularly grave sin and engaging in activities which
cause grave scandal and fracture the body of the church, that
communication ceases, and the person is deprived of receiving the
sacraments and other privileges.
The anti-Mugabe cleric last November handed a petition to the Catholic
Church’s secretary of the Apostolic Nunciature in Zimbabwe, Father Gabriel
Pesce, in Harare, for onward transmission to Pope Francis.