By Albert Nxumalo
A key organ within the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change, the National Standing Committee (NSC) on Tuesday resolved to unleash ‘a big political action’ to return the country to what it terms legitimacy and democracy.
Since its Gweru elective congress last year, the opposition has been issuing threats to carry out a wave of protests countrywide aimed at putting pressure on President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Zanu PF government.
MDC warns that the planned spontaneous demonstrations countrywide are also against the deteriorating economic situation.
Late in February this year, a group of the party`s youths and women’s league members in Harare staged evening flash demonstrations.
In a statement after its meeting yesterday, NSC said “in line with the Congress resolutions of May 2019 and pursuant to the big five fights as articulated in #Agenda2020 the party is currently mobilising Zimbabweans across the country for a big political action to push for a people’s government.”
“The people’s party resolved to work with all progressive forces in pushing for a peaceful and non-violent people’s action meant to return the country to legitimacy and democracy,” added the statement from its communications department.
Recently, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) held consultative meetings across the country mobilising for a national shutdown to pressure Mnangagwa to address the deteriorating economic situation in the country.
Added MDC, “To this end, it was resolved that a big political action be mobilised and organised”.
However, dates to roll out the planned action were not given.
Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters in Harare in February, MDC leader Nelson Chamisa said 2020 was a year of action and his party would stage many public protests.
This was after embarking on a tour of provincial structures across the country.
Chamisa reportedly told party members that they would engage in spontaneous demonstrations and would not notify the police of their intentions as required by the law.
The country is facing mealie-meal shortages owing to a ravaging drought that has seen half of the population in need of food aid, according to the World Food Programme.
The government has subsidised mealie-meal to make it affordable to ordinary people, but the subsidised product finds its way onto the black market.
When available in shops, refined mealie-meal is expensive, with a 10kg bag fetching around $140.
On the faltering national dialogue, the NSC said its quest for genuine and sincere dialogue to resolve the national situation has been spurned and turned down by Mnangagwa.
“The people’s party has therefore drawn a line in the sand until the possibility of dialogue becomes a viable and available option.
“Zimbabweans are demanding for a people’s government, an improvement of their livelihoods and restoration of their dignity, a decisive end to corruption, respect of human rights and a return to constitutionalism and democracy”.
Mnangagwa has insisted that he will have no other talks outside POLAD, which has been snubbed by Chamisa’s MDC.
MDC view POLAD as an insincere attempt by Mnangagwa to remedy the country’s myriad of troubles.
POLAD, a forum comprising parties whose leaders contested the July 2018 presidential election, was formed by Mnangagwa amid pressure from locals and outsiders for Zimbabwe’s feuding political leaders to come together and find solutions to the national crisis.