University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer Eldred Masunungure believes the government will descend heavily on those who will take to the streets on July 31 as it is its customary behaviour to resort to violence against citizens.
Masunugure said the government will use the COVID-19 lockdown as an excuse to clamp down on the protestors. He said:
The call for demonstrations is warranted, defendable and legitimate because the situation has become desperate for Zimbabweans.
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However, the heavy hand of the State awaits those that will partake in the planned demonstration, and in the face of Covid-19, authorities will not hesitate to use a hammer to kill a fly.
The State will likely go into its default mode of heavy-handedness to send a strong signal, like what happened with previous flash demonstrations, including the recent one in Warren Park.
Masungure said the government has shrunk the democratic space, leaving little room for the opposition to manoeuvre.
He suggested that the country’s main political players should resort to dialogue as it is the only option available to extricate the country from the economic quicksands. Said Masunungure:
The opposition, therefore, has limited options because the freedom to demonstrate is only on paper. The democratic space is under lock and key.
The reality is that nothing will change unless political gladiators in the country dialogue. ED should also realise that he has tried all he can to work on the economy on his own, and he has failed.
His own supporters probably agree on this abysmal failure and also on the fact that all that needed to go wrong since he came to power in 2017 has gone awfully wrong.
The only viable solution is thus a roundtable dialogue with the so-called enemies of the State (political rivals).