Protest marches and the opposition's violence export

Protest marches and the opposition's violence export
Published: 23 September 2019 (168 Views)
Protest marches and the opposition's violence export
Nobleman Runyanga

As the 74th United Nations General Assembly gets into gear, the world has already witnessed some attendant activity on the ground mainly in the form of marches in the United Nations (UN) precincts in pursuit of various causes on Saturday.
One team of marchers that drew the attention of the global media was the anti-sanction march jointly staged by ZANU PF, Friends of Zimbabwe and the United States-based December 12 Movement. The marchers told the world of the need for the lifting of the illegal sanctions through power messages such as "Sanctions are war against the people of Zimbabwe." They told the world that "The real criminals are at the Whitehouse."

They were right. Zimbabweans who reclaimed their land did nothing wrong to anyone least of all to global bullies such as the United States of America (USA) which commandeered a bilateral issue between Zimbabwe and her former colonial master, Britain to impose sanctions on small southern African country which posed no threat to the superpower. The real criminals deserving worse penalty than sanctions are the criminals at Whitehouse who think that they have the right to police countries such as Zimbabwe as if they have some form of suzerainty over the rich sovereign nation.  

Not to be outdone, the opposition party, the MDC injected part of the over Z$3 million proceeds from the Political Parties (Finances) Act windfall which was released to the party by Treasury a few weeks ago to fund a protest at the UN grounds to embarrass President Emmerson Mnangagwa before the world at his finest hour.

 The party dispatched its deputy organising secretary, Happymore Chidziva to lead the so-called anti-Mnangagwa demonstration. The demonstration flopped monumentally because the opposition thought that the ready kitty of cash that it had was all it needed to stage a protest that would send President Mnangagwa scurrying for cover. Funding minus fundamentals is a recipe for failure of grand proportions, the opposition was to find out as only a paltry 27 people turned up. The calls for protests against President Mnangagwa were causeless.

No person in his right mind would wish to associate himself with causelessness. This is the reason why some pro-opposition organisations and individuals from America and Canada who were expected to bolster Chidziva's numbers simply stayed home. Chidziva and company hoped to use the case of the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) acting president, Dr Peter Magombeyi who went missing on 14 September to pile pressure on President Mnangagwa but the guy "found himself" on 19 September at Nyabira, disarming and weakening the opposition's enterprise.

The Magombeyis and the excess financial resources in the hands of the harebrained aside, the opposition's trip was nothing short of another baseless MDC sabotage  attempt to make up for its electoral rejection by the electorate on 30 July 2019 embarrassing the President. The trip was just another excuse for the party to indulge its childish and narrow-minded "tozvidira jecha (we'll sabotage your rule)" penchant. Given the basis of the attempted protest and its failure the party could have put the wasted funds to more noble uses such as paying its workers' salary arrears who by the way are suing the embattled party.

As has become the MDC's hallmark, the opposition's marchers in New York did not miss an opportunity to export its "finest" produce and flagship brand – unprovoked violence. As the pro-Mnangagwa marchers walked past the forlorn and seemingly disoriented Chidziva charges, the MDC yobs attempted to clash with them by provoking them through desecrating the popular war-to-independence celebratory song, "Maruza imi" but did not get anywhere.

They attempted to accost one of the anti-sanctions marchers accusing him of being hired but this did not boost the group's momentum and fervour. The pro-MDC protesters realised that New York is not Harare and Harare is not New York. What would one expect from a group of excitable, loafing and weed-puffing youths led by an equally uncouth politician who earned the moniker, Bvondo because of his penchant for violence?

If the MDC members were serious and progressive Zimbabweans they would draw valuable life and political lessons from Saturday's events in New York. There were several groups of marchers from different countries pushing various causes but there were no clashes except the MDC's shameful attempt which blotted the otherwise very peaceful atmosphere.

If Chidziva and his coterie wish to be taken seriously as equal political stakeholders on the local political landscape they should be the first to admit that protests should not be just about violence and destruction. Even if the Pro-Mnangagwa group felt strongly about the pain and unfairness of the sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by America they did not resort to violence or destroying property around the UN grounds. Even when provoked by the MDC's embarrassingly small group of protesters they chose to be the better persons and walked away peacefully.

The anti-sanctions protesters knew that the American President, Donald Trump stays at and operates from the White House but they did not allow overexcitement and emotions to get the better of them and marched to the Whitehouse as would do some illicit brew-zonked MDC protesters here. They just confined to insinuating that he leads criminals at Whitehouse who routinely renew the illegal sanctions against Zimbabwe.

The way protests were staged in New York on Saturday must have taught MDC members both in New York and in Zimbabwe that as citizens we can hold opposing political positions and views but we should do so peaceably.   

- Nobleman Runyanga


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