Protests caused by untold suffering — Tsvangirai

HARARE – President Robert Mugabe is out of touch with the magnitude of Zimbabweans’ untold suffering, hence his failure to appreciate the reason behind the current wave of protests, MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai said.

Speaking in Chitungwiza, where he visited 62-year-old Lilian Chinyerere who was beaten up by police during last Friday’s protest, Tsvangirai said “Zimbabwe’s crisis is far deeper than they (Mugabe and Zanu PF) can appreciate”.

He said “that’s why there is continued pressure from the people. It’s a justifiable cause”.

“There are no jobs, people are living through vending, but no one is buying those items because there is no money.”

Tsvangirai — Mugabe’s long-time rival — castigated the police, saying “it is taboo to beat one’s mother in the African culture”.

“It shows the extent of how far this regime has become rogue, considering the manner in which it is responding to people’s expressions.”

He dismissed claims that he is the one who is pushing people to demonstrate against 92-year-old Mugabe.

“People are angry, they are not being sent to demonstrate but there is nothing to do because they are hungry.

“They are saying I am the one who is sending people to demonstrate but its hunger which is pushing people to express their frustration.”

Chinyerere said she was shocked to see police officers attacking her, as she had not provoked them.

“I was just seated. I told them (police) I was not feeling well but they said they did not care.

“I am still feeling some pain, but I am going to participate in the next demonstration because I saw the evil side of the police,” she said.

Last Friday, protestors — who were taking part in the National Electoral Reform (Nera) — were brutally assaulted by police before they were dispersed.

Nera, a grouping of 18 political parties, had planned to demonstrate against Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) on outstanding electoral reforms.

The heavy-handed police defied a court order clearing the demonstration, as they went on to thwart the protest, resulting in running battles with protestors. – Daily News

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