By Audience Mutema
WITH the opposition MDC girding up for rolling demonstrations, ordinary Zimbabweans have warned these may not be the solution to the country’s economic problems.
Zimbabweans are groaning under the weight of a harsh economic environment characterised by spiraling inflation that has had a domino effect on prices of commodities and services across the economy.
A snap survey by NewZimbabwe.com on the streets of Harare to hear ordinary Zimbabweans’ thoughts on the situation revealed that most have now become weary of protests, the opposition’s most potent weapon since formation 20 years ago.
Those interviewed suggested the country’s political protagonists from across the divide need to dialogue and find solutions to the problems facing the country.
Tendai Makechemu said: “These demonstrations will not solve anything. What is only required is for the interested parties to engage in a dialogue. By doing so, I am sure they will come up with a solution which will pave a way forward.
“Look at our neighbouring countries. I wonder what these countries are doing which our country is failing to do. These are the reasons why most of our citizens are migrating to these countries.”
The country’s biggest opposition, MDC, led by Nelson Chamisa, who came a close second in last year’s disputed elections, has snubbed an invitation for dialogue by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Chamisa has demanded a neutral arbiter to the process. He also wants a face to face meeting with Mnangagwa over the crisis.
Another Harare resident, Nelson Mashonga agreed that demonstrations might lead to loss of lives as happened in August last year and January this year.
“Demonstrations are not the solution to the current situation in the country. If the political leaders were willing to resolve economic problems, they will surely resolve the issues. Protests will only result in loss of lives and price hikes which does not change anything.
“The economy can only be resolved by demand and supply. As regards money, people are demanding the adoption of the US Dollar. If this country is selling minerals like gold in US$, the question is why is it that government is failing to pay salaries in that currency?” Mashonga asked.
“They could even give at least US$10 for each and every transaction made by individuals at the banks. This will reduce money changers in the streets because foreign currency will be circulating.”
Mushonga said the parallel market is now the sole source of the country’s problems and needs to be dealt with as a matter of urgency.
Six people died after the army opened fire on protestors in August last year before a further 17 lost their lives in January after another outbreak of demonstrations.
Chamisa, in his address to his party’s congress in Gweru last week, warned of possible demonstrations and indicated he was sure the government will react with brute force.