By Staff Reporter
ORGANISER of the July 31 nationwide protests against high level corruption in the country, Jacob Ngarivhume remains unfazed by threats from Zanu PF youths plotting to disrupt the demonstrations with violence and unlawful arrests.
Ngarivhume, the president of opposition Transform Zimbabwe, said the mass protests would proceed as planned despite spirited efforts by Zanu PF youths and State security agents to disrupt them.
The protests are against the rise in corruption committed by senior government officials and their colleagues, which has brought the country’s economy to its knees.
“The demonstrations will go ahead as planned. We are absolutely unfazed by such empty threats,” Ngarivhume said.
“Our protests are not targeted at any individual. We are going to be demonstrating against poverty, corruption poor health care.
“Our demonstrations are going to be very peaceful. We have never said we want to be violent. In fact, it’s these Zanu PF youths who are planning to cause violence and I am glad that they have said it out publicly and the police will do their work and arrest these perpetrators of violence. We are peaceful people,” he told NewZimbabwe.com Sunday.
Ngarivhume was speaking a day after Zanu PF youths led by their acting national deputy chair Tendai Chirau declared they would confront the protesters on the streets adding they could not wait and watch people plot to unseat their leader, President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
They also said they would “arrest” Ngarivhume and his colleagues.
The Zanu PF government, which has in recent years never shied away from viciously putting down dissent, is preparing for the event and is already working to equip police with necessary vehicles and equipment.
On August 1, 2018, eight people were killed in Harare after troops opened fire on rioting opposition supporters protesting against the delay in announcing the July 30 presidential election results.
The government defended the killings saying the army was deployed in central Harare to help police restore order.
In January 2019, 18 demonstrators died while scores were injured after they were shot at by State security agents. They were protesting against fuel increases that had gone up by 150%.