August 29 2017 – AFTER being denied permission to protest at the South African embassy in Harare, Zimbabwean opposition parties under the banner of National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera) have vowed on that they would not back down in their bid to express displeasure at the way Pretoria officials handled the saga involving Zimbabwe’s First Lady Grace Mugabe.
“We are inevitably enraged by the police’s [Zimbabwe Republic Police] decision, but nevertheless, we have since forwarded the matter to human rights lawyers for assistance. In any case, the demonstration will proceed as scheduled,” says Nera spokesperson Davis Junior Mukushwa.
Meanwhile Zanu PF is set to march in Harare in a “solidarity march for the First Lady, Dr Grace Mugabe”, who is also the party’s women’s league national chairperson.
“We shall stand by our mother regardless. We shall fall and rise together as we bond forever and ever, and continue to display our love and care in the spirit of familyhood,” said one alert for the mass protests, purportedly from a Harare province secretary for information.
Chief superintendent J Chizemo of the ZRP’s Harare central police district this week wrote to the Nera Youth Forum, led by Tawanda Kalonga, acknowledging “the notice to peacefully demonstrate” at the South African embassy on Wednesday [August 30]. Chizemo then indicates to the opposition forum that they did not comply with sections of the country’s Public Order and Security Act.
But Mukushwa says they are undeterred and are accusing SA of “dropping the ball by allowing the first lady to leave SA after she was granted diplomatic immunity, following a charge of assault by a young Johannesburg model, Gabriella Engels. –ANA