President Robert Mugabe was yesterday stormed by angry protesters from his ZANU PF party who are demanding that he urgently nullified results in the primary elections in Harare South.
The protesters who were not arrested briefly ground to a halt the capital yesterday when they marched all the way to the shake-shake(ZANU PF) building singing loudly and even police officers assigned to the demonstration could not stop them.
They then stationed themselves outside the ZANU PF building where Mugabe was scheduled to attend a crucial politburo meeting.
Some of the protesters marched along Leopold Takawira Street, turned into Nelson Mandela Avenue and into First Street before stopping at the intersection with George Silundika. They marched back along First Street towards the RBZ into Samora Machel Avenue where they turned left towards Zanu PF head quarters in Rotten Row.
There were no arrests.
Other Zimbabweans who were up and about doing business and others at the local banks watched as traffic in the CBD came to a standstill at Rotten Row.
Mugabe delayed coming to the building and even after 4 hours, the men and women remained outside ZANU PF headquarters building.
ZANU PF Political Commissar Webstar Shamhu finally addressed the demonstrators and told them: “It does not help the party in any way to voice our concerns this way. I can assure you that tomorrow (today) we will be coming to your constituency for a fact-finding mission. We will take views of both yourselves and those you are accusing so that together we find common ground.”
But the protesters did not pay attention with one demonstrator quoted by the local Newsday saying:
“We will not be taken for a ride. Shadreck is not a genuine Zanu PF member. His sole motive is to destroy the party from inside. If corrective measures are not put in place, we will only vote for President Robert Mugabe and forego the parliamentary vote,” he said.
Another elderly demonstrator charged at Shamu : “You (Shamu) are much younger than me. I joined this party way back in 1964. We can never condone such undemocratic behaviour in our party and all we want now is to have audience with the President,” she said.
The protests are part of disgruntlement in the party after many candidates were elbowed out of the way and have now opted to contest as independents. They include Jonathan Samukange, Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo’s ex-wife Marian Chombo and former Manicaland deputy provincial chairperson Dorothy Mabika.