A Harare vendor has held a lone demonstration at the Africa Unity Square urging President Robert Mugabe to immediately act on corruption or leave office.
Grievance Sipikita, who last week grabbed news headlines after he wrote a hard-hitting letter to President Mugabe accusing him of taking a soft stance towards senior government officials accused of perpetrating corruption, today held a banner written “Mugabe must Act or Step Down”.
“The reasons why I am doing these demonstrations is because I want (President) Mugabe to listen to the concerns of people…ordinary Zimbabweans who are suffering….I am also demonstrating against escalating corruption which has gone for too long.
“Instead of curbing corruption the President publicly defends his corrupt subordinates, who are implicated in corrupt activities, instead of having them arrested these officials are rewarded with powerful posts”, he says.
Asked why he thinks President Mugabe will this time around listen to him, when he couldn’t listen to others protestors like the Dzamara brothers, Patson and Itai, Pastor Evan Mawarire among others that came before him, Sipikita said “I know there are a lot of people who have done this before me, whether he listens or not, I believe we are in a struggle and the struggle will continue until our concerns are attended to.”
Sipikita says he won’t be deterred by the disappearance of like-minded activists like such as Itai Dzamara as he is exercising his democratic rights as enshrined in the constitution.
“Of course I know of politically motivated abductions of protesters and activists, but such acts will not deter me if it ever comes to that, I am not afraid, I will be waiting and will soldier on”, he says.
Sipikita follows the footsteps of Itai Dzamara, a journalist and activist who began the Occupy Africa Unity Square campaign challenging PresidentMugabe to address a plethora of challenges obtaining in the country, before he was abducted in March 2015 by five unidentified men while at a barber shop in Harare’s Glenview suburb and never to be seen again.