A senior official in the opposition MDC-T Tapiwa Mashakada has castigated social media activists who called for anti-government protests on Friday, 31 July 2020, saying they lack courage.
Writing on social media in the aftermath of the demonstration, Mashakada said only Tendai Biti and Job Sikhala are brave enough to lead from the front, the rest are cowards who “the play to the international gallery”.
Rather than engaging in a risky violent confrontation with the ruling ZANU PF, the opposition should follow the path of dialogue to save the country. Wrote Mashakada:
The much-touted 31st July demo has failed to take off not because the people do not have a genuine cause but because of fear and lack of courageous leaders who are prepared to sacrifice their luxurious lives.
The social media activists are good for nothing but inciting other people to cannon fodder when they are hiding in safe places.
Those who are play acting the demo by holding one or two placards are just play-acting. The Zanu PF govt is entrenched and battle-hardened.
You cannot beat them in the game of violence. This is the generation of Perence Shiri who were ready to sacrifice their lives to free us from the yoke of colonial bondage. They paid the ultimate price.
Now our social media generation are far from it. Why not change tactics and strategy and try National Dialogue than pretend to be revolutionaries?
Apart from Job Sikhaka and Tendai Biti, I see a lot of cowards in the rank and file of those who chose the demonstration route.
But even then, under the COVID pandemic demos were not ideal because of public health reasons. It was ill-timed.
Meanwhile, the suffering continues while we in the opposition are experimenting with tired methods of removing the govt.
Let us try dialogue and national convergence in order to find each other. After all the politicians do not feel the pinch.
They are eating and looting across the political divide. Driving luxurious vehicles and barricaded in their suburbs wearing expensive suits.
We must not use the people to satisfy our egos. Demonstrations are being used to tick the box and play to the international gallery.
The regime remains clueless on how to run the economy but the opposition does not make the situation better by not engaging the rulers like what Tsvangirai did.
Dialogue must be tried and given a chance otherwise we are all contributing to the burning of the house. The tweeter activists are hiding and hoping that innocent poor can come out to confront the regime.
Tapiwa Mashakada is an official of the Movement for Democratic Change Tsvangirai (MDC-T)