Robert Mugabe, president of Zimbabwe, attends the 12th African Union Summit Feb. 2, 2009 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
HARARE – Ageing Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe will leave office by December this year as citizens plan a series of demonstrations to force him out, the Tajamuka group said on Monday.
Addressing a press conference in Harare, Tajamuka member, Hardlife Mudzingwa, said he was confident the 92-year-old leader would bow to pressure from citizens and step down.
“I don’t think we can reach December while he is still in office. We have also made a constitutional court application to challenge his capacity and I have confidence that he will heed citizens’ call,” Mudzingwa said.
He said there would be a total shutdown on Wednesday August 31 to protest against Mugabe’s failure to address their demands by the deadline they had given him.
“We, on behalf of the campaign, announce a national shutdown on 31 August 2016. The national shutdown is a correct footing into the red zone of the campaign..”
He said citizens had for too long been victims of intimidation and harassment by the ruling Zanu PF and this time would not bow to any threats by those wishing to suppress the citizens’ voices.
“This campaign will not waste time responding to empty attempts to criminalise and de-legitimise citizens’ demands. We will continue to build on citizens’ resolve to build a future for Zimbabwe,” he said.
Mudzingwa appealed to all Zimbabweans to heed the call, including transport operators and business people.
He distanced Tajamuka from messages circulating on social media platforms advocating for violence and the burning of property around the country.
“The campaign will continue to build a seriously strong citizens voice, loud enough to create and shape the politics, sociality and economics of Zimbabwe. We distance ourselves from the dubious hoax messages advocating for burning of fuel stations. These are part of futile attempts to criminalise a peaceful campaign from the public sympathy it has enjoyed,” he said.
Starting from September, Mudzingwa said, there would be protests every week until Mugabe stepped down and made way for a transitional authority that would lead the country to free and fair
“There will be action, serious action. Those who have been blind to the misgovernance have now opened their eyes and will be joining the protests from the provinces,” he added.