Prominent civic leader and trade unionist Peter Mutasa has urged Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) to adopt underground campaign methods in the wake of a state crackdown coupled with a systematic ban on opposition rallies.
Zimbabwe heads for potentially watershed national elections in the second half of the year with the political playing field ever becoming hazardous for Zanu-PF’s main opponents.
Outside the outright police ban over ostensible lack of manpower reasons to cover the rallies, opposition activists have been brutally attacked by suspected rivals during some of their campaign activities, often with no consequences on perpetrators.
The attacks have been fueled by violence instigating statement by some top politicians lined to the ruling Zanu-PF.
These include feared former state security minister Owen “Mudha” Ncube who has threatened to unleash “violence worse than the 2008″ one against ‘sell-outs” within opposition ranks.
In the wake of the dangers facing the opposition, Mutasa, who chairs pro-democracy group, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC), has called on CCC to turn to guerilla style methods of campaigning.
“Zimbabwe is a military dictatorship. There is no doubt that the constitution has been suspended and constitutional rights taken away.
“Citizens can no longer exercise freedom of expression, association or assembly.
“Opposition gatherings are banned and their leaders are detained without trial.
“Journalists are arrested for exposing corruption and trade unionists are brutalized for demanding better working conditions.
“Under such circumstances, the opposition must not be predictable.
“It must use guerrilla tactics and underground political activities to fully exercising their constitutional rights that are being unlawfully limited by state agencies,” said the former Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions president.
Mutasa said the oppressive atmosphere was being aided by state institutions such as the police and courts that seem to be taking instructions from the ruling party.
Once victimized by the state for calling for the 2016 national stay-away which was riding on the new wave of citizen disobedience then inspired by Pastor Evan Mawarire, Mutasa told his opposition allies not to forget Zimbabwe was different from South Africa which commands democratic processes.
Mutasa’s comments follow almost similar stance by CCC leader nelson Chamisa who vowed Thursday to keep party strategies under wraps for fear of infiltration by the enemy.
Chamisa said, “I can assure you that we will not announce what we are going to do to baboons.
“But I want to tell you that these baboons are not going to be troublesome anymore.”