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Fuel protests: People leading themselves

By Daniel Chigundu

Chitungwiza North legislator Godfrey Sithole says people who are protesting in Chitungwiza are demonstrating to exhibit their displeasure with the current economic hardships in the country.

Zimbabwe is going through what could be its worst economic situation since 2008 and it would appear like the government is failing in its effort to address most of the challenges being experienced by both citizens and business.

This has seen some companies giving the notice to close shop while others have scaled down operations drastically leaving people unemployed.

To make matters worse prices of services and goods have skyrocketed to unimaginable levels especially transport cost in light of the fuel price increases.

However, there are general views that the current protests that have engulfed most parts of the country are being led by Nelson Chamisa’s MDC, indirectly but according to Sithole people are actually leading themselves.

“The situation in Chitungwiza is showing that people are not happy with the government of the day, are not happy with fuel price increments announced recently and general hardship in the economy, so people are protesting.

“This protest is being done by the people of Zimbabwe and includes students, ZCTU, residents and old people so there is no one we can pinpoint to be heading or leading the protests but it’s the people Zimbabwe who are expressing their displeasure on government’s failure to transform the economy and they are saying if it was possible it should step aside and pave way for another government,” he said.

Honourable Sithole added that “some of them (protestors) are actually saying the elections were not handled well and that has caused the current situation in the country, and if the winner who is Nelson Chamisa had been allowed to rule, the country would have been in a better position.

“But the current government rigged the election and normally when you see economic problems it’s a result of the political problem and it requires a political solution,” he said.

With regards to the use of tear gas by the police to dismiss protestors, the Chitungwiza North legislator said it was nothing more than a sign that government is afraid of the people.

He said instead of the tear gas, the government should actually come to the table and talk with its people to hear their grievances.

“It is known in the history of nations that have a dictatorship that once you see governments throwing tear gas it means their days are numbered, their rule is coming to an end.

“Tear gas is a sign of admission that government is now afraid of the people, in fact, the government should not throw tear gas but they should meet with the people instead and hear their grievances and not use tear gas.

“Tear gas has no ears, and it has no mouth so there is no communication that will be taking place, tear gas is actually manufactured for animals like elephants so that they can be managed, people in the streets are not elephants, there are normal people who want the leadership to come and address their concerns without the use of tear gas,” he said.

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Daniel Chigundu

Daniel Chigundu is a male journalist in Zimbabwe and has been practising since September 2009. He writes for The Business Connect (newspaper) in Harare, has his own news website Tourism Focus which is biased towards the tourism sector. Daniel is also working with Magamba Network on their project called Open Parliament where they do live coverage of Parliamentary activities on Twitter and Facebook. He is currently the secretary general of the Zimbabwe Parliamentary Journalists Forum, is a member of Zimbabwe Small Broadcasters Association. He holds a Diploma in Communication and Journalism from the Christian College of Southern Africa (CCOSA), a certificate in Youth leadership training from the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), a certificate in Citizen Journalism from Magamba Network and is currently a first-year student at Zimbabwe Open University studying for a Bachelor of Arts Honours in Ethics and Organisational Leadership.

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