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 can join.”
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 Glen View.
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.