Home » Governance » ’Protests’ No Substitute for Sound Politics

There have been misplaced calls for so-called mass action by certain political failures. Having run out of constructive ideas to contribute to the national discourse or in an endeavour to entice the now-elusive donor money, such groups and entities now preach the mass action gospel, without considering the detrimental effects such action would have on the country’s economy, infrastructure and stability.

The ideologically bankrupt MDC-T party, Job Sikhala, Ibetshu Likazlu and PTUZ have in the recent past called for mass protests in one form or the other, to remove ZANU-PF from power.

So frequent are the calls that they are beginning to sound like a broken record.

What these individuals and entities have in common is a desire for self-enrichment using innocent citizens as bait.

As a result, they come up with outlandish and sensational justifications for their proposed mass action and it is only because Zimbabweans are a rational lot that these calls have been rightly ignored over the years.

Only last weekend, MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai, while addressing a rally in Harare, called on people to take to the streets, claiming that “we have a generational obligation to liberate ourselves once more, but the liberation will not come cheap because we will have to do it through a lot of service and sacrifice.”

Such disregard for peace and the rule of law is saddening when exhibited by a so-called democratic leader.

It sets a bad example and predictably, excitable youths from that party rallied to the call for violence and bloodshed.

MDC-T youth assembly chairman Happymore Chidziva, taking a cue from his master, threatened to set up “bases” in Harare.

This sends shivers down the spine given intoxicated youths’ susceptibility to violent suggestions.

Last month, some opposition parties and purported human rights activists flew all the way to join their UK-based counterparts to stage a demonstration outside the Zimbabwean Embassy in London on Saturday, February 21 2015, to demand the resignation of President Mugabe and his entire Cabinet.

Expected participants included MDC-T, ZAPU and Zimbabwe Social Democrats.

What boggles the mind is what these people hoped to achieve by flying all the way to London to stage a demonstration, after all, the Londoners have been hearing the same complaints against the Zimbabwean Government for the past 15 years or so.

One would be forgiven for thinking that the demonstration was motivated by greed and an insatiable, newly-found taste for hotels and plane rides.

The above examples show that the demonstrations being agitated for by civic organisations and opposition parties are not inspired by the desire to better the lives of the ordinary Zimbabweans but by a desire to line the pockets of those same agitators with donor money.

Zimbabweans would be better aised to take a leaf and learn from history.

The period between December 2010 and mid-2012 witnessed what is now referred to as the Arab Spring revolution whereby seemingly spontaneous and largely violent mass protests erupted in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and Yemen.

At the time, citizens of these countries felt they were justified and had a right to engage in mass protests to remove what they believed were corrupt and evil governments.

Today, the citizens are arguably worse off than they were before the uprisings.

All the countries that experienced the Arab Spring are today riddled with internal armed conflict which manifests in daily bombings and deaths that do not appear to be coming to an end any time soon.

Closer to home, neighbouring South Africa is a prime example of the devastating effects of mass action. Last month, residents in a town called Malamulele embarked on a protest over service delivery that soon got violently out of hand.

Resultantly, schools and shops were shut down for more than three weeks, prejudicing innocent school kids in the process essential council property and other infrastructure was burnt down.

The net result is that the residents are now experiencing even worse service delivery due to the disturbances. Such is the aftermath of mass protests that those calling for such action deliberately fail to mention.

It should be noted that those who are calling for demonstrations do not care about the ripple effects that the demonstrations have on the economy or the smooth running of business in the country.

They do not care about the incomes that will be lost as people take to the streets they do not care about the damage to infrastructure that will likely occur.

While citizens are justified in calling for better service delivery from those elected into office, there are better and more productive ways to achieve this rather than taking to the streets and worsening the situation.

For while these so-called democracy champions might lead demonstrations from the front, the monetary rewards they get for organising such actions are not shared amongst the participants but rather, will be enjoyed by the chief puppeteers at the citizens’ expense.

Zimbabwe is renowned for being a peaceful country.

To depart from this situation and jeopardise the peace we enjoy for the sake of a few pennies from the West would be akin to shooting ourselves in the foot.

Zimbabweans should not be fooled by elements who care naught for the future of the country and whose only concern is to milk as much money as they can from gullible donors.

Source : The Herald