By Brenna Matendere
The Nelson Chamisa-led MDC has suspended meetings by its provincial assemblies to mobilise people to protest against the deteriorating economic situation in the country until the coronavirus outbreak is over.
Chamisa and his lieutenants have been holding meetings with party structures to organise protests to force President Emmerson Mnangagwa to the negotiating table.
Amos Chibaya, the MDC organising secretary, said the party’s provincial youth conferences that were supposed to be rolled out countrywide as part of a mobilisation strategy ahead of the “final push” had since been shelved.
“We had started some programmes, but now we are putting them on hold,” he said.
“However, it does not mean we are giving up in our fight against the dictatorship. We just want to allow the coronavirus to pass..
“As you are well aware, the people’s president Nelson Chamisa launched the Zimbabwe Lock Out Coronavirus programme otherwise known as the #Zim-lock campaign as part of our contributions to fight against the coronavirus.
“So, we are suspending party meetings until further notice.”
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Chibaya said for now the party would play its part in ensuring that Zimbabweans were aware of the coronavirus and help prevent a deadly outbreak.
“We urge the nation to take all the safety precautions, including practicing hygiene wherever you are, and also urge family members to do the same,” he said.
“We will continue to give direction on the way forward in terms of our journey for change in this country.”
Besides the MDC, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions has also been mobilising for a “national shutdown”s to protest against the falling standards of living. Mnangagwa last week declared a a state of national disaster and banned gatherings of more than 100 people.
He also announced a number of other measures to stop the spread of the disease. Zimbabwe has two confirmed cases of coronavirus so far.