HARARE – Radical pressure group Tajamuka/Sesijikle has warned that it is planning mega protests — similar to the highly-supported shutdown of last year — to force President Robert Mugabe and his government to act on the country’s worsening economic rot.
Tajamuka/Sesijikile said yesterday that it had set June 20 and 21 as the days for the initial rollout of its planned massive protests — to jerk the government into action to arrest the country’s worsening rot.
“We are declaring 20 to 25 June 2017 as the days for a total shutdown. We kindly warn everyone to take this seriously . . . and the government must find solutions to the crisis.
“All shops and schools must be closed. Don’t risk sending your children to school; it’s a risk you won’t like to take.
“Park all your kombis and no cars should be on our roads. All our borders must be closed. Stay indoors for your safety,” the pressure group warned in its ominous statement.
“It’s best to be with your loved ones indoors. Stock all your basic needs. Buy your electricity tokens which will last the six days of Shutdown. Take this seriously. This is for all Zimbabweans regardless of political affiliation . . . Enough is enough!
“The regime is not concerned about the economic crisis. Mugabe declared that there is no crisis in this country, yet we are failing to withdraw our money from banks. Isn’t this a crisis? We are sleeping at banks, isn’t it a crisis?
“Hospitals don’t have drugs. Isn’t it a crisis? All roads have potholes. Isn’t it a crisis? Over 92 percent of Zimbabweans are vendors. Isn’t it a crisis? Cities don’t have clean water. Isn’t it a crisis? The police are demanding bribes at roadblocks. Isn’t it a crisis?” it added.
Mugabe and Zanu PF, in power since Zimbabwe’s independence in April 1980, stand accused of destroying the country’s once vibrant economy and authoring the current hardships besetting ordinary citizens.
Tajamuka, working with others such as activist clergyman Evan Mawarire, organised arguably one of the biggest and most successful strikes to have hit the country in July last year, when tens of thousands of workers heeded their call to stay away from work in protest against Zimbabwe’s economic meltdown.
Dubbed Shutdown, the crippling strike forced the panicking Zanu PF government to use force to quell subsequent protests, as Zimbabweans agitated for change.
Zimbabwe is in the grip of a worsening economic crisis which has also witnessed a severe shortage of cash, including of the recently introduced bond notes.
Despite injecting more bond notes into the market, and recently increasing its weekly importation of United States dollars by 50 percent, the government continues to battle to stem the acute cash shortages, which have seen desperate Zimbabweans besieging over-stretched banks, as they desperately try to withdraw their money.
On the back of the country’s deepening economic crisis, economists say average income levels are now at their lowest in more than 60 years, with more than 76 percent of the country’s populace having to make do with incomes that are well below the poverty datum line.
In addition, the country’s international standing and sovereign ratings have also plummeted concomitantly, resulting in Zimbabwe being classified recently as the poorest country in Africa — amid horrendous company closures and numbing levels of unemployment.