Energy and Power Development minister Samuel Undenge yesterday came under renewed pressure to resign over several scandals that have rocked his ministry and Zesa Holdings as activists took to Harare’s shopping malls to register their anger.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
The activists, under pastor Evan Mawarire’s #This Flag Citizens Movement, were at Avondale and Borrowdale shopping centre to convince residents to sign a petition asking President Robert Mugabe to deal with corruption at Zesa.
A fortnight after it was drafted, the petition has garnered over 5 000 signatures and the activists believe they will reach their target of 10 000 signatures soon.
“Already, more than 5 000 people have signed the petition and by next week, I am confident that I would have collected the targeted 10 000 signatures,” Mawarire said as he led the protestors at the Avondale shopping centre.
The petition reads: “In light of the recent revelations of the failure to comply with due process in the handling of public funds (in particular the payment of $5 million to Intratrek (Pvt) Limited) presided over by the Minister of Energy and Power Development, Undenge, and the aforementioned boards, we the undersigned as concerned citizens of Zimbabwe implore you to act in upholding the rule of law and for justice to be served.”
Mawarire said the campaign would target all sectors that have been exposed as corrupt and demand justice as citizens.
“We want to get involved in building our country. We are not just voters, we are citizens. #ThisFlag campaign will move to different parts of the country and we will be identifying more and more government officials that need to be brought to account as we cannot just keep quiet and watch,” he said.
Mawarire said the campaign was not going to be just about corruption, but would also call on government to account in matters that pertained to the lives of citizens.
“We are working with a lot of other movements in this campaign, including millions of Zimbabweans in the Diaspora, who are campaigning and signing the petition,” he said.
“I am not afraid of arrests. We have been harassed, but with what charge will they justify any arrests?
“It is our rights to demand accountability. I did not break any law, cause havoc or break anyone’s property. I am just raising my voice to say enough is enough. This is a non-partisan campaign, to say if you are in government, you must be prepared to account.”
A member of #ThisFlag campaign, Henry Munangatire, urged Zimbabweans living in the Diaspora to print the petition, sign it, and then send it as a scanned attachment online.
Grace Marere, a resident who signed the petition at Avondale shopping centre, said she decided to join in the campaign because she wanted to participate in changing the course the nation was taking.
“Administration of this country is corrupt and inept. We now need a new generation of citizens that exercise their rights, so that we bring out the full potential of Zimbabweans and its people. Zimbabwe will rise again,” she said before signing the petition.
Mawarire started #ThisFlag movement on social media sites Facebook and Twitter last month and now enjoys a huge following.
Fed up with the country’s unending problems, ordinary Zimbabweans have of late been taking to the streets to register their disaffection with Mugabe’s government.
On Friday, activists stormed Rainbow Towers Hotel following reports that Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko was refusing to leave the hotel despite the government buying a $3 million mansion for him in Harare’s plush suburb of The Grange.
Mphoko has spent over 550 days living in the presidential suite of the hotel at a huge cost.