Planned shutdown 2 flops
ZIMBABWEANS yesterday largely ignored a second round of protests instigated by the MDC-Alliance and its affiliates after last week’s shutdown left many counting their losses as it degenerated into an orgy of looting of shops, burning of property and violence which left several people dead, including a police officer.
Yesterday schools, shops, banks, industries and health institutions in Harare were open to the public while vendors and informal traders went about their business following assurances of safety by security agencies, who remained firmly on the ground. The same situation prevailed in Bulawayo too although the turnout of children at schools was low.
This, analysts said, was a clear sign the opposition had overestimated its influence and in most cases hijacked workers’ grievances to advance its violent political agenda.
Analysts said the law had also visited most of the opposition hooligans who last week went on a rampage destroying property, attacking innocent people, burning vehicles and buildings, and blocking people from going to work.
Over 700 people have been arrested while others have been jailed over the protests that left six people, including a police officer, dead.
It later emerged that the protests had nothing to do with bread and butter issues or a review of the fuel price by President Mnangagwa more than a week ago but were an attempt by MDC-Alliance and its allies to push President Mnangagwa and Zanu-PF to share power.
Political analyst Mr Goodwine Mureriwa said by ignoring yesterday’s stayaway calls, Zimbabweans were now focused on what was good for them rather party agendas.
“Zimbabwe is a country of enlightened people.These guys have for long overplayed their hand and people have realised that they should never be used for an agenda that has now clearly come out to be outside the realms of the workers and populace calling for economic reforms and easing of hardships like the fuel situation.
“It is clear now that after the August 1 (2018) and the recent violent looting, destruction of property and loss of life, Zimbabweans know they are being used as pawns in a more complicated game that includes foreign countries and institutions.
“Zimbabweans have declined to be dragged into a situation of terror and war because they know their hardships. They have realised this is a passing phase which needs unity. People are now looking at personal benefits and are refusing to be used by any political party, organisation or group,” said Mr Mureriwa.
Another political analyst, Mr Tafadzwa Mugwadi said: “This is a clear signal that the tomfooleries in the opposition and their proxies have overexaggerated their influence on the people after taking advantage of the difficulties associated with last week in particular.
“Zimbabweans, urban dwellers in particular, should be commended for completely ignoring the calls to re-protest by the merchants of violence in the rank and files of the opposition whose political fortunes only rise at the horrible sights of looting, arson, wanton destruction of property and violence against peace loving citizens.”
He continued, “The normalcy that characterised Monday (yesterday) is a strong and categorical indictment of the devil’s angels by all Zimbabweans, including those who have been detained or hiding that last week’s unprovoked violence was regrettable and must never visit our dear society again.”
Another political analyst, Mr Richard Mahomva, said Zimbabweans were rational enough to realise they were being used.
“Zimbabweans are clearly rational to realise the inevitable that the fuel price was going to go up factoring in that initially it was not sustainable to remain like that.
“Zimbabweans are rational enough to be understanding that the opposition driven narrative of incentives in US dollars is not going to be realised against the prevailing economic conditions. Most groups and individuals that were causing mayhem are in the custody of the police and any sane human being knows where violent protests will lead you to,” he said.
Mawarire was arrested and remanded in custody to January 31. He is facing allegations of subverting a constitutionally elected Government or alternatively, inciting public violence.
Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Cain Mathema this week said Zimbabweans should not be hindered in their daily activities by malcontents seeking to cause chaos in the country.