Harare – A Zimbabwean students leader, Zvikomborero Haruzivishe, has compared President Robert Mugabe to “Satan” over the recently launched campaign to clear Harare’s streets of illegal vendors, says a report.
According to New Zimbabwe.com, Haruzivishe, who is the general secretary for the Zimbabwe National Student Union (Zinasu), said that the way Mugabe and his government were treating street traders was “devilish” as the vendors were “victims of the government’s failure to create jobs for the majority of the country’s citizens”.
Haruzivishe said that most students at the country’s tertiary institutions depended on the income that their parents were making from selling their wares on the streets for survival.
Zimbabwean police launched a campaign to clear the Harare’s streets of “illegal” vendors last month. This was after Mugabe complained that roads in central Harare, including the one named after him, were dirty and overcrowded with illegal street traders who block traffic.
Haruzivishe said that the vendors were now forced to play “cat and mouse” with the country’s notorious police who were chasing them off the streets.
“They are being tear-gassed yet they are trying to earn themselves a living. They are being victimised for trying to make up for government’s failure to create jobs. So it’s actually Satanic and devilish; it can only be done by those of Satan and Satan himself,” Haruzivishe was quoted as saying.
This came a week after the National Vendors Union of Zimbabwe (NAVUZ) gave Mugabe a two-week ultimatum to stop police brutality, while warning that his failure to do so will lead to retaliation.
NAVUZ chairperson Sten Zvorwadza accused the police of indiscriminately dishing out violence against vendors.
Zvorwadza said that the vendors had had enough of police brutality and that they were gearing to fight against “rowdy officers” whom he claimed were committing crime in “day broad light”.
“We’re not going anywhere. We’re proud working citizens. They are wasting their time in trying to remove us. We’re going to fight back if Mugabe fails to call his subordinates into order. We are giving him only two weeks to respond to our grievance,” Zvorwadza said in an interview with News24.