“We have to roll up our sleeves and as a people be our own liberators, be our own answers, be our own solutions,” said Movement for Democratic Change-Alliance president Nelson Chamisa recently, as he announced 16 August 2019 as the day of his planned street protests in Zimbabwe.
But Nick Mangwana has poured cold water on the planned demonstrations saying protests are a non-event and cannot change anything.
“What the opposition should know, is that there is not going to be any transfer of power outside elections,” he said.
However, political analyst Elder Mabhunu says Mangwana should not let his political inclination cloud his judgement.
He lambasts him for thinking that protests cannot change anything, including transfer of power. Mabhunu says peaceful protests work, adds that world over, history has it on good authority that peaceful demonstrations can make a change.
“Are you suffering from amnesia ‘loss of memory’ Mr Permanent Secretary, how did your so-called new dispensation came into being. Did you overthrow president Robert Mugabe through elections?”
“If the answer is no, and yes it is a big no. Then why do you tell Chamisa that demonstrations do not work?” he asks. He also gave the example of Sudan, where the military rule is failing as protesters call for a workable way forward, that should lead to civilian rule.
He adds that where autocracy is the norm civil disobedience is a duty. “To Chamisa, all I can say is do it peacefully, I know you can do it, and you once did it in 2018. You led a successful protest that was heavily attended and in which no stone was thrown, no window was broken, no one was injured, and again, no shop was looted,” he says.
Meanwhile, a number of ruling party officials have been threatening the opposition not to engage in protests. They said they would unleash the military and youths should the opposition take that route. But Chamisa is not intimidated, has just got the permission by the police to proceed with his demo.