Nqobile Tshili/Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu, Chronicle Reporters
BULAWAYO residents have been urged to ignore demonstrations being planned by the MDC Alliance for the city on Monday.
In January, the opposition party and its allies in the civic society organised a violent stay away which resulted in rampant looting and destruction of property in the city and elsewhere in the country.
Police on Thursday issued a prohibition order barring the MDC Alliance from unleashing orgy of violence in the pretext of peaceful demonstration in Harare.
After the High Court dismissed the party’s application to overturn the prohibition order, MDC Alliance national spokesperson, Mr Daniel Molokele, issued a press statement that the party would take its demonstrations to Bulawayo, Gweru, Mutare and Masvingo.
The Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Bulawayo Cde Judith Ncube said residents should not partake in the retrogressive demonstrations
“I want to pose a question to Bulawayo residents. What do they want? Do they want to participate in issues that will not improve their lives? Let’s take stock of what happened in January. A lot of people suffered in the city due to the violent protests. What Bulawayo requires at the moment is development more than anything. We know how far behind we are as a city. Let us preserve the little development we have and shun things that will subject us to more poverty and worsening our livelihoods,” said Cde Ncube.
Association for Business in Zimbabwe (Abuz) chief executive officer, Mr Victor Nyoni shared Cde Ncube’s sentiments saying Bulawayo community should protect the economic activity.
“Our view is nothing at all that disrupts production should happen. But at the same time we understand that politicians have their own role in the state build up. We want to say such expression and such activities can be confined to the realm of politics and must not interfere with the little economic activities that is taking place,” said Mr Nyoni.
He said the business community has not recovered from January protests which were characterised by looting and destruction of shops.
“And whatever activities should take place in the context of politics and we will leave that to politicians but as businesses we suffered big time in January. We are still trying to recover from damages that happened in January. We would want to say to politicians be peaceful, whatever you do preserve the little economic activity that still remains,” said Mr Nyoni.
Zanu-PF national spokesperson Cde Simon Khaya-Moyo said it is not time for citizens to be fighting each other but the nation should pull together and redeem the economy in unity.
“The decision by the High Court to uphold the earlier police prohibition order regarding the MDC planned demonstration today could only be based on facts at hand. Zimbabwe Republic Police are known for their professionalism and no patriot adores violence of any kind. This is time for the nation to unite and address the economic challenges facing the nation as one family irrespective of political affiliations. Let us together find solutions to these challenges. Together we cannot fail,” said Cde Khaya-Moyo.
Meanwhile, most of the country remained peaceful yesterday in light MDC Alliance aborted demonstration in Harare. However, some of the party’s rogue elements defied police and the High Court ban resulting in running battles with the police. — @nqotshili