MDC-T plans demo in Bulawayo


Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) leader Morgan Tsvangirai

THE Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) is planning to hold its second protest on the country’s economic decline in Bulawayo on May 28, following a successful demonstration in Harare last month.
Tsvangirai spent the better part of last week in the Matabeleland region in preparation for the demonstration.
He addressed the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions Workers Day commemorations in the second city, while Douglas Mwonzora, the MDC-T secretary general, spoke on his behalf at May Day commemorations held in the capital.
Mwonzora confirmed the plans, saying: “It is true. We are having the demonstration in Bulawayo on May 28. What I can promise you is that it will be bigger than what happened in Harare last month. We are expecting more than 20 000 people to turn up for that event.”
The MDC-T has said it will be moving around the country as it seeks to rejuvenate itself ahead of the much anticipated 2018 general elections.
Its brand suffered a major setback after it took a heavy pounding from ZANU-PF in the 2013 elections, which preceded a messy split that resulted in former secretary general, Tendai Biti, forming a breakaway party now called the People’s Democratic Party.
But the split in the MDC-T was followed by intense factional fights in ZANU-PF, which resulted in the expulsion of former vice president Joice Mujuru and tens of her allies in 2014.
Mujuru and her allies early this year formed a new party, Zimbabwe People First (ZPF).
The formation of ZPF led to many suggesting that an obituary of the MDC-T leader was imminent, especially after several key members from provinces defected to join the Mujuru-led political outfit.
The demonstration in Harare, which the MDC-T said was meant to protest against a deteriorating economy and the theft of US$15 billion from diamond mines in Chiadzwa, has shown that Tsvangirai, who led from the front, still has the calling to lead any opposition against President Robert Mugabe and his ruling ZANU-PF party.
Tsvangirai won against President Mugabe in the 2008 elections, but did not get enough votes to be declared the winner.
He withdrew from a runoff presidential election after alleged violence against his supporters, which he said had led to 200 deaths.
President Mugabe went on to win the runoff election, but a confidence crisis forced him into a coalition with Tsvangirai’s party as well as a breakaway MDC party then led by Arthur Mutambara but now led by Welshman Ncube.
It was during the subsistence of that coalition government that Tsvangirai and his party were to suffer from heavy defeat from ZANU-PF and President Mugabe, resulting in the dissolution of the coalition government.
But ever since ZANU-PF formed its government after the 2013 polls, the economy has degenerated, and President Mugabe admitted government had lost US$15 billion from diamonds mined in Chiadzwa by companies controlled by its party members and their cronies.

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