Monday, 13 July 2015

Zimbabwe opposition parties hold rally over economic crisis


Zimbabwe opposition parties converged at the weekend for a rally to find solutions to the current political and economic crisis faced by the southern Africa nation.
The convention was also to call on the government to bring back missing human rights activist Itai Dzamara who was abducted by suspected state agents.
It was the first time in years for Zimbabwe opposition parties to gather in an effort to find a solution to the country’s crisis. Although expelled Vice President Joice Mujuru did not attend the meeting, most of her close aides were present.
Zimbabwe's economy is currently on its knees with millions jobless. The country’s unemployment rate is pegged at 90 percent according to the labour union, ZCTU.
Local analysts blame the dire situation on the mismanagement and corruption in Mugabe's administration. Mugabe, 91, has ruled Zimbabwe for 35 years 
Abducted journalist-turned-human rights activist Itai Dzamara’s continued disappearance is acting as a catalyst for unity among President Robert Mugabe’s political opponents, as they say his government has destroyed all the gains of the country’s liberation struggle against white minority rule.
The rising demands for the government to either release or find Dzamara — who went missing after staging sit-ins agitating for the resignation of Mugabe — are broadening into a concerted national fury that is being made worse by the country’s worsening economic crisis and Zanu PF’s misrule.
So negative have sentiments towards Mugabe and Zanu PF become in the country, that Saturday’s prayer meeting in Harare in remembrance of Dzamara very quickly descended into a spontaneous anti-government demonstration enjoying the full spectrum of Zimbabwean society — including church leaders, NGOs and opposition politicians.
Almost without exception, speaker after speaker savaged Mugabe and Zanu PF, calling on the nonagenarian and the government to account for the missing activist or step down.
Earlier last week, Mugabe — the only leader Zimbabweans have known for the past for 35 years — reshuffled his “deadwood” Cabinet in what analysts said was a desperate endeavour to appease warring factions in his party, as well as the restless citizenry’s growing anger.
But the Cabinet musical chairs failed to gain any support, with most critics saying the nonagenarian continued to wittingly or unwittingly misunderstand what Zimbabweans really wanted — democracy, progress and development in the country.
“You can reshuffle the Cabinet as much as you want, Mugabe,” said a carpenter John Moyo, “but we will not stop until you leave”.
Moyo pointed to the country’s high unemployment, rising living costs, endemic corruption and worsening poverty levels — all now underlined by the informalisation of the economy — as the reasons why Mugabe needed to go.
And like most disaffected Zimbabweans feel, Moyo also accused Mugabe’s cronies of gross corruption and “accruing extravagant wealth at the expense of the Zimbabwean people”.
“When mudhara uyu (Mugabe) is gone, Zimbabwe will regain its pride,” he said resignedly.
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