Exiled Zimbabwean cleric Evan Mawarire has urged his followers to join him in protests ahead of President Robert Mugabe’s arrival at the United Nation’s general assembly this weekend.
According to New Zimbabwe, Mugabe left Harare on Wednesday to attend the 17th Non-aligned Movement summit in Venezuela as well as the UN general assembly in the US.
Mugabe was reportedly seen off at the Harare international airport by his long time ally and Deputy President Emmerson Mnangagwa and a number of other ministers.
In a video posted to his Twitter account, Mawarire said he was organising week long massive protests that would coincide with Mugabe’s arrival in the US.
He said that the protests were aimed at highlighting government corruption, police brutality and injustice in the southern African nation.
During the week long protests, Mawarire was to be joined by the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change led by Morgan Tsvangirai.
The protests at the UN headquarters in New York were set to begin on Saturday September 17 – September 22.
“As Robert Mugabe comes here to attend the United Nations, we will be waiting for him… Let’s refuse corruption, let’s refuse injustice, refuse poverty in our nation of Zimbabwe,” Mawarire said.
In a statement, MDC USA Provincial Information and Publicity Secretary, Marias Shumba said that the groups would also be demonstrating against the torture of activists by Mugabe’s government.
“We call upon the Zanu-PF government to stop the forcible abduction and brutal torture of opposition supporters. We demand that the Zanu-PF regime stop the distribution of food relief support on partisan lines. We are justifiably irritated at the Zanu-PF government’s reluctance in implementing electoral reforms before the next plebiscite,” said Shumba.
Shumba added that the opposition groups would also ask the UN to look into the disappearance of pro-democracy activist Itai Dzamara.
Itai has been missing since March 2015 after bravely staging lone protests calling on Mugabe to step down in central Harare’s Africa Unity Square.
Reports said that five men stormed a barbershop in Harare and accused him of stealing a cow before they bundled him into an unmarked white twin-cab bakkie.