By Luke Batsirai Tamborinyoka
Today, Zimbabweans in Harare will be exercising their democratic right to gaze into the retina of the eye of the beast.
The demonstrations have been spurred by a spate of several national grievances that can only be resolved by a legitimate people’s government with an undisputed mandate.
The right to peaceful protest is a constitutional right guaranteed in the supreme charter of the land that was crafted by the people and affirmed by them in a referendum on Saturday, 16 May 2013. The rights enshrined in the Bill of Rights, including the right to peaceful protests, are inalienable, indivisible and sacrosanct and no one can take them away from the people.
At the centre of the people’s complaints are 10 national grievances that include corruption, unemployment, power and fuel shortages, cash shortages and the imposition of a debased currency, lack of genuine political and institutional reforms and the high cost of living and unaffordable prices of basic commodities.
Also in the menu of the national grievances are selective application of the law, the politicization and abuse of food aid, drug shortages and ill-equipped health facilities as well as human rights abuses characterized by a senseless clampdown on democracy and civic activists.
Today’s demonstration is proceeding, notwithstanding the abductions and torture of innocent citizens as a way of intimidating them to refrain from exercising their democratic right.
The demonstration is on.
The demonstration will be peaceful, consistent with the culture and character of the MDC as stipulated in Article 4 of the MDC constitution.
Today’s demonstration is the beginning of a series of demonstration in the countries cities and towns as Zimbabweans make a sonorous statement to this illegal regime.
Today’s demonstration is a testament that this regime has failed to address the concerns of the people.
Today’s demonstration, judging by the incidents of abduction and torture that we saw early in the week, is evidence that Mnangagwa’s government is not a new dispensation but a brutal continuation of the ancien regime.
Today’s demonstration is a sovereign expression by the people of Zimbabwe.
Today’s demonstration is an expression of our Constitutional rights.
Today’s demonstration will see the true people’s leadership leading from the front.
Today’s demonstration is testament that it is now different ball game, masamba asiyana.
Today’s demonstration marks the unraveling of political and diplomatic pressure, which is signpost number one in the MDC’s five-point plan that is clearly enunciated in our RELOAD document.
Today’s demonstration is a fulfillment of our Congress resolutions 1 (b) and resolution number 2 in which we talked about putting peaceful diplomatic and political pressure to ensure that there is genuine and sincere dialogue.
Today’s demonstration, which must be peaceful, are an expression and affirmation of our Constitutional rights.
Today’s demonstration marks the commencement of a season of discontent. We shall not rest until the end of the season and until harvest time!
The people are truly sovereign and today, they begin gazing right into the eye of the beast.
Luke Batsirai Tamborinyoka is the Deputy National Spokesperson of the MDC. He is a multiple award-winning journalist and an ardent political scientist. You can interact with him on Facebook or on the twitter handle @luke_tambo.