Tsvangirai makes triumphant return: THOUSANDS of people draped in the Zimbabwean flag yesterday thronged MDC-T’s Harvest House headquarters in Harare to welcome party leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, following his month-long hospitalisation for colon cancer treatment.
Tsvangirai, who was taken ill early June and is currently undergoing chemotherapy sessions, was forced to address an impromptu rally, where he declared: “I am back and it is time for action. The people of Zimbabwe should be heard.”
He had to cut short his address after riot police stormed the area, accompanied by two water cannon trucks and ordered the MDC-T supporters to disperse, accusing them of blocking traffic.
In the ensuing melee, police arrested Reuters photojournalist Philemon Bulawayo, but later released him without charge.
MDC-T youth leader Happymore Chidziva said Tsvangirai’s call for action against the government’s failed economic policies had resonated with the masses’ push for President Robert Mugabe to step down.
“What is clear is that the State has failed the people of Zimbabwe and this has stopped being just a political issue, but even those outside politics are calling for action, The president (Tsvangirai) said it’s time for action and we are ready,” he said.
Tsvangirai, on his first day back at work, chaired MDC-T’s national executive and national council meetings to discuss and measure the success of anti-government demonstrations held by the party in several parts of the country.
Party spokesperson Obert Gutu said Tsvangirai would address a Press conference today to spell out the resolutions of the national council.
Meanwhile, the High Court is today expected to make a ruling on MDC-T’s urgent chamber application challenging a police decision to ban the party’s #BeatThePot demonstration slated for Bulawayo tomorrow.
MDC-T vice-president, Thokozani Khupe confirmed the development yesterday, saying the proposed women-only protest march was meant to force the Zanu PF government to urgently address the faltering economy.
“We know the police have always wanted to subvert democratic rights of the people of Zimbabwe, but our courts have been refreshing,” she said.
“We will be going to court at 11:30am tomorrow (today) for determination and we are praying that the courts will grant the order in our favour. The Constitution allows us to express ourselves with our pots. It’s our right.”
In its application, the MDC-T cited officer commanding Bulawayo central district, Assistant Commissioner Stephen Mutamba, Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri and Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo as respondents.
“The police’s action to purportedly disallow the applicant’s intended peaceful march evidently is inimical to the provisions of Section 59 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe and not justifiable or backed by any law in a civilised and democratic society like our country Zimbabwe,” part of opposition party’s affidavit read.
The MDC-T, through its lawyer Kholwani Ngwenya, said the police were trying in vain to link their party with last week’s demonstration, which they say they were not part of.