Zimbabwe’s MDC sets date for nationwide anti-govt protests – report

HARARE – Zimbabwe’s main opposition, the Movement for Democratic Change party, is reportedly planning to hold nationwide demonstration on Thursday against the worsening economic conditions in the southern African country.

According to NewsDay, MDC party spokesperson, Jacob Mafume confirmed the protests date, adding that the party has since issued a notice to the police.

“Indeed, our demonstration is coming this Thursday. The national council endorsed it, but the idea came from the people during our consultations from across the country. We have notified the police, and we don’t expect them to go against the Constitution. Our section 59 is very clear as regards our rights to demonstrate, and our duty is simply to notify the police, which we have done. They were notified last week,” Mafume was quoted as saying.

Mafume said the idea of holding protests came from MDC supporters who were not happy about the prevailing economic situation facing the country.

Earlier this month, the country’s state-owned Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), reported that the MDC Alliance was planning mass protests “meant to force a constitutionally elected government to hand over power to the opposition party”.

The report quoted party leader Nelson Chamisa as saying that the demonstrations should culminate in the current government conceding power to the opposition.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa won the July 30 election with 50.6% of the vote – just enough to meet the 50% threshold needed to avoid a run-off against MDC’s Chamisa, who scored 44.3%.

“I am here to seek your support. If you say we should take to the streets we will do that because I believe it is time that we claim our victory,” Chamisa was quoted as saying at the time.

The MDC party, however, denied the claims, and accused the country’s national public broadcaster, of spreading hate speech.