“Robert Gabriel Mugabe, you are not my president! Robert Mugabe you are not my president!”
This was the message of Zimbabwean migrants in Cape Town on Thursday as they called for the removal of President Robert Mugabe after nearly three decades in power.
Protesting outside of the Zimbabwean consulate in Cape Town, Laswet Savadyea, a representative of the youth movement #Tajamuka, delivered the migrants’ demands.
“You have turned Zimbabwe from the breadbasket of southern Africa to a basket case. You have turned Zimbabweans into economic immigrants [who] are destitute because of your failed policies,” said Savadyea to roaring approval from his peers.
With many draped in the Zimbabwean flag, the protest follows days of unrest in the southern African state. It also comes after Pastor Evan Mawarire – a leading figure in the growing resistance to Mugabe’s regime through the social media campaign #ThisFlag – was arrested and then released on Wednesday after appearing in court.
Despite a clear target on his back, Mawarire has, in an interview with the BBC News, again called for Zimbabweans to keep protesting, a call that the #Tajamuka in Cape Town and other Zimbabweans are answering.
“You have reduced the Zimbabwe that we know to a Zimbabwe that we don’t even recognise,” said Savadyea.
“As a leader, Robert Mugabe, you have totally failed to facilitate the coming together of the nation to find its feet and make its way out of the crisis that you created.”
Among the alleged failures of Mugabe and his administration, Savadyea referenced the “massacres of innocent people”, rigged elections, murders of political rivals, isolating the nation and corruption that has “brought the country to its knees”.
Savadyea also spoke on farm grabs, food shortages and growing hunger in the nation.
“The most productive people in the country, the farmers, were driven away by Mugabe, making millions of blacks homeless and destitute,” he said.
“Productive farms have been given to political cronies and family members who left the land foul and unworkable.”
With this and more cited as failures by the Mugabe administration, Savadyea, the #Tajamuka, and Zimbabweans again called for Mugabe to step down.
“As a president you have failed Mugabe, and it is time for you to go. We demand your departure from the state house. We demand your departure from even Zimbabwe itself,” said Savadyea.
“Robert Mugabe, the way that you are governing Zimbabwe makes us question whether you are a true Zimbabwean.”
Watch the video clip below taken by Jacques Nelles from a sister protest in Pretoria.
– African News Agency (ANA)