Yesterday, hordes of Zanu PF youths marched through the capital Harare’s streets blocking traffic and causing mayhem in protests meant to counter the rise in citizen-inspired demonstrations fronted by cleric Evan Mawarire’s #ThisFlag campaign and Promise Mkwananzi of Tajamuka/Sesijikile.
Source: Unleashing brainwashed youths most dangerous – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 21, 2016
The Zanu PF youths threatened a series of protests to counter the pro-democracy activists’ campaign against increased poverty, corruption and economic collapse in the country. Yet the pro-democracy campaigns have been supported by Zimbabweans across the political divide locally and abroad due to their relevance and substance.
What boggles the mind is that, while #ThisFlag and Tajamuka/Sesijikile were supported by people, who willingly braved the chilly weather and picketed at the Harare Magistrates’ Court last week following Mawarire’s arrest, events yesterday pointed to the youths being coerced to partake in the demos on the promise that they would be allocated urban residential stands in Harare and towns.
Some youths came from Marondera, Murehwa, Bindura and elsewhere after being promised free residential stands in Harare. One wonders what else they were promised. It won’t be surprising to find that others participated for the prospect of getting a free meal. No doubt others didn’t even know why they were running on the streets.
Regrettably, such people will normally always constitute the majority in any autocratic country.
Mawarire’s campaign has been successfully using social media to galvanise Zimbabweans against Mugabe’s misrule. Is it not surprising that Zanu PF could forcibly gather poor unemployed youths from all over the country in a show of force to march in the capital in what they called support for Mugabe?
If Mugabe really won the 2013 election by 61% as they would want Zimbabweans to believe, why is there a need for youths to toyi-toyi in support of the 92-year-old who claims to be popular?
This really does not wash. No doubt, the Zanu PF youths are being used against their will to support a system that does not really care about them. Mawarire was supported not because he is a member of any political party, but his concerns resonate with the people — their daily struggles.
Whether the bussed Zanu PF youths denounced the citizen movement leaders or not, the truth is these are individuals who, like millions others, have borne the brunt of Mugabe’s destructive policies over the past three decades.
We wonder why Mugabe could take time to attack Mawarire, a poor cleric, whose only wish is to hold government accountable to citizens.
Is it not ironic that Zanu PF is against other people expressing themselves through demonstrations yet they have held many in support of Mugabe so far? Why should Mugabe feel threatened if he has citizens’ support? Why should he unleash Zanu PF youths on the citizens? It could be because Mugabe is aware that he no longer has support, and hence, the use of coercion.
We believe getting support from people, who just don’t have the scruples, tools or even willpower to reason and are so docile and easily brainwashed is the most dangerous thing to happen to any civilised society.
Also saddening is the fact that Zimbabwean youths in their numbers are the ones hardest hit economically by poverty, vice and poor governance.
Clearly, this goes to show how Zanu PF, as a party, is prepared to stoop so low all in the interest of maintaining a stranglehold on power, whose value has been eroded to nothing. It is Zimbabweans who should start rebuilding the country again.