BY NQOBANI NDLOVU

THE planned August 31 protest over human rights abuses scheduled for the Beitbridge Border Post failed to take off with organisers citing lack of police clearance and reasons “beyond our control”.

The planned demonstration by South Africa-based Zimbabwe Economic Freedom Fighters (ZEFF) saw activists and ordinary Zimbabweans based in South Africa also announcing plans to stage a similar protest in Musina to force the closure of the border.

South Africa’s opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema had extended support for the demonstrations, saying his party would participate.

However, the protest failed to take off with ZEFF leader Innocent Ndibali confirming that the party failed to rally support for the protests while also blaming police in the neighbouring country for not sanctioning the
protest.

“Due to multiple factors beyond our control, EFF Zimbabwe has with difficulty and sadness seen it necessary to call off the planned protest,” he said.

“Until the last day, we had not been able to secure permission from the South African authorities to hold a peaceful protest at the border post despite making an application and notification of our plans. It is regrettable that the protest was not allowed to proceed.”

The planned protest came at a time President Emmerson Mnangagwa was under international spotlight over recent abductions, torture and arrest of opposition activists and civic rights activists.

The government and Zanu PF have angrily hit out at critics, accusing them of being sponsored by the West in a regime change agenda plot.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa last month deployed envoys to Zimbabwe over the deteriorating human rights situation in the country although Harare maintains that there is no crisis.

“We would like to apologise to our fighters and our allies (Zapu, 31st July Movement) that the protest had to be cancelled,” Ndibali added.

“We will not be deterred in our generational mission to bring about total change in Zimbabwe. We have dedicated ourselves to a cause with only one certain outcome: total change meaning that Zanu PF must go and our people be liberated from
tyranny.”

Do you have a coronavirus story? You can email us on: news@alphamedia.co.zw