Opinion: The #July31 Demonstration
The stay away from work was successfully done by Zimbabweans. It has been long since stay aways have been done successfully in Zimbabwe. A big thank you goes to the Zimbabwe Republic Police and Zimbabwe National Army who helped in sending people back home.
In any struggle it is very important to know your enemy and his behavior. The enemy invests in violence and confrontation. The enemy does not know that peaceful demonstrations are a necessity in the constitution in making the executive account and knock sense when they seem to be moving astray.
Instead of training the police to marshal demonstrators and fish out those that may not be peaceful like is done in other countries, in Zimbabwe our police force still use the Rhodesian police tactics of holding batton sticks and beating up people.
In those countries the police are not trigger happy. They don’t just shoot at people like they are shooting animals. They escort demonstrators to present petitions to ministers and other government departments.
Instead, Zimbabwean police officers behave like rogue police officers, jumping from their vehicles with batton sticks and tear gas and begin beating up protestors indiscriminately. Those holding guns took aim at protestors and people going about their business shooting them.
Hence, it is important to know what type of government we have in Zimbabwe, a military dictatorship. They are limited in thought and only think of using force even where it calls for peace. In such a scenario Zimbabweans need to be thanked for staying at home. The regime was looking for confrontation so as to count the dead and thereafter deny involvement in killing people.
Those who say that the demonstration was a flop I really don’t know what they were looking for. Were they looking forward to count the dead people to say the demonstration was successful? Were they looking for many people beaten, injured and thrown in prison to say the demonstration was successful?
The success of a demonstration or a stay away is not measured by the number of people arrested, injured or dead after the demonstration but by the huge number of people who take heed either demonstrating or staying at home. All in all, it is measured through losses in revenue that the government incurs. If toll gates register reduced revenue due to limited traffic, business registers low business or no business at all then that is success to the demonstration organizers.
If for example, the demonstration organizers arrange a whole week stay away from work the question is, who will loose revenue if the army and police locks people out of towns and cities demonstrators or the government. So the action done on the 31st of July was a monumental success as all cities were almost empty.
Article By: Leo Nzou (Freelance writer)