Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa has abandoned using demonstrations as a strategy to force the ZANU-PF led government to stop human rights abuses and persecution of opposition parties members.

Chamisa says Zimbabweans have lost their lives on account of expressing themselves through peaceful demonstrations.

Speaking during an interview with a South African radio station recently, Chamisa said citizens have been shot dead by the army for staging peaceful protests.

“I am sure you know the meaning of the repression. We have lost lives on account of protests in this country.

“You know what happened with the shooting of innocent citizens.

“You know the experience of apartheid. It’s the same situation that we have here.

“Zimbabweans continue to protest and demonstrate freely and peacefully asking for good governance, but the challenge continues.”

His comments comes at the time many are calling on the opposition to stage protests and demand the release of CCC legislators Godfrey Sithole and Job Sikhala.

Meanwhile, political activist and Transform Zimbabwe leader Jacob Ngarivhume says “peaceful and lawful” protests were the only remaining tool available for citizens to force authorities to uphold constitutionalism.

“The issue of the deteriorating political and economic situations in the country is about what the citizens can do about it,” Ngarivhume says.

“In accordance with the Constitution, citizens have the right to protest peacefully. If the protests are well organised and gather momentum, the authorities will definitely Act.

“People have tried many other means to force the government to govern in a democratic way.

“They have prayed, petitioned and gone to the courts to compel the authorities to respect the rule of law, but it has failed. But they still have to speak and the only way they can do is to take to the streets.”