MDC Alliance co-vice president Tendai Biti has pledged his party’s support for the planned 31 July citizens’ protests against egregious, high-level corruption.
Addressing reporters in Harare this Wednesday, Biti castigated government officials’ bellicose statements against protestors, saying it was imperative for them to pursue dialogue with citizens. Said Biti:
We support the citizen’s protest on 31 July. Citizens have a right to peaceful protest. Instead of inciting violence, the Government should dialogue with citizens. We object to the arrest of Hopewell Chin’ono and Jacob Ngarivhume. We demand their release.
We object to ZANU PF’s attempt to turn the 31 July protests into a violent demonstration, another January 2019 or August 2018. The citizens have emphasized that the protests will be peaceful.
Biti condemned the government’s nonchalant response to the coronavirus crisis which he characterised as a slow genocide.
He called on humanitarian organisations to intervene and to avert an imminent catastrophe of unprecedented proportions. Biti said:
Govt has failed to manage the Covid19 crisis. There’s been insufficient testing, tracking and isolation. This has resulted in a slow genocide. Bulawayo is in crisis. Harare is in crisis. We have a national crisis. We call upon humanitarian organisations to intervene.
Why is there no substantive Minister of Health or substantive perm sec? We need data-driven decisions. We need a professional team of experts to lead a Covid19 taskforce. Govt must give social safety nets to households and a business package to SMEs.
Biti also demanded that the government should address the concerns raised by doctors and nurses in order to end the ongoing strike in the health sector.