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Sikhala threatens Egyptian-style protests

Sikhala said Mugabe was presiding over a failed inclusive government and accused some of his Cabinet ministers of amassing personal wealth at the expense of the majority.

He said MDC99 was rolling out demonstrations throughout the country in a bid to stop the holding of elections before the implementation of meaningful political reforms and the “departure” of Mugabe.

Sikhala said there was no point in holding elections now as Zanu PF officials were repeatedly saying there was no way the party would cede power through the pen (ballot box).

“We are going to deliver a political blow to Mugabe which will see him leaving power before elections are held,” he said.  “Our demonstrations are receiving a lot of sympathy throughout the country because many people have realised that since independence, any call for elections when Mugabe is still in power, is a call to violence and intimidation.”

On December 12 2011, Sikhala was briefly arrested and released after he, party supporters and executive members held a protest march demanding that President Mugabe must resign.

The former MDC legislator for St Mary’s and his supporters were marching towards President Mugabe’s Munhumutapa building offices, carrying placards with messages that demanded the immediate resignation of Mugabe, when armed police pounced on them.

Sikhala accused some cabinet ministers, including his former MDC colleagues now in the coalition government, of creating wealth for themselves through corrupt deals.

“You can’t go into bed with Zanu PF without compromising yourself,” he said, referring to  his former colleagues in the then opposition MDC who are now part of the inclusive government.

“They are now engrossed in cutting deals for themselves which has made them super rich overnight. They are eating from a poisoned chalice.” Sikhala said the GNU had failed to make meaningful political reforms, save for the licensing of new newspapers such as NewsDay.

“Prime Minister (Morgan) Tsvangirai who won the March 2008 Presidential elections is virtually powerless,” he said.  “Instead of spearheading policy change, he is a mere spectator in government as he is overshadowed by Mugabe and can’t even make Zanu PF ministers attend the Council of Ministers which he chairs.”

Sikhala said a majority of Zimbabweans continue to wallow in poverty as the GNU has failed to turn around the economy by creating jobs and attracting investment, while civil servants continue to be paid “slave wages”.

“The country is now surviving on barter trade. Even the likes of me, a whole political leader, continue to struggle to make a living because the inclusive government has done little for the country for the past three years,” he said.

 

THE SADC DEMOCRATIC FRONT

 

Meanwhile, Sikhala said opposition political parties in southern Africa have agreed to form the Sadc Democratic Front (SDF) whose major objective would be to consolidate efforts to introduce meaningful political reforms especially in countries where there was limited democracy and good governance.

He said the parties which include South Africa’s Congress of the People (Cope), met in South Africa recently and agreed to run parallel programmes whenever Sadc heads of state and government were meeting for their traditional summits.

The front, to be based in South Africa, will have structures similar to those of the Gaborone-based Sadc secretariat. “The Sadc Democratic Front will counter the false solidarity among some of the dictators in the region who want to hold on to power at all cost,” said Sikhala.

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