Tsvangirai to address 'shutdown' rally ahead of mega demo next week

2016-11-26 11:04
Morgan Tsvangirai. (File: AFP)

Morgan Tsvangirai. (File: AFP)

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Cape Town – Zimbabwean opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai is expected to address thousands of his party supporters in Harare on Saturday, News Day reports.

The rally dubbed the "Shutdown" would be held at the Zimbabwe Grounds in Highfields, ahead of a "major" demonstration against President Robert Mugabe's government next week, the report said.

This would be Tsvangirai's first appearance in public after a lengthy absence due to ill health.

Tsvangirai disclosed in June that he had cancer of the colon.

"We are going to have the rally, which we have called the Shutdown. It will be the last rally that will be addressed by our president in 2016," MDC Secretary General Douglas Mwonzora was quoted as saying.

Voice of America cited the party as saying that Tsvangirai was set to talk about the national crisis and also give an update on the coalition of opposition parties ahead of 2018.

Police strategy 

A demonstration by the National Electoral Reforms Agenda (Nera), which the MDC is part of, failed to materialise on Wednesday following a police ban.

According to New Zimbabwe, Nera Convenor Farai Mbira expressed disappointment with the police strategy to deny citizens the opportunity their democratic right to demonstrate peacefully.

Mwonzora, however, maintained that the demonstration was going to take place next week.

"We are going to have this demonstration as Nera (National Electoral Reforms Agenda). Initially, it was a day we had set aside for an MDC demonstration and Nera had planned its demonstration for November 23.

"But it was outlawed by the police. So it has been moved to that date, where, as one people, we will challenge poor governance, corruption and brutality," Mwonzora said.

Zimbabwean police have of late allegedly been "targeting protest leaders, arresting and assaulting some of them", New Zimbabwe said.

Dzamara and other activists were kidnapped and assaulted by unknown men in Harare on Friday, hours ahead of a demonstration that was planned against the introduction of bond notes. 

Read more on:    mdc  |  morgan tsvangirai  |  robert mugabe  |  douglas mwonzora  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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