Zimbabwe: Simba Makoni calls for Thailand-like Red Shirt protest

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A losing presidential candidate in Zimbabwe 2008 bloody elections Simba Makoni, has urged Zimbabweans to take a leaf from Thailand’s Reds Shirts to effect regime change.

Makoni claimed that the Red Shirts 10 week chaotic protests is “an uplifting move”

“We are very powerful if we mobilise ourselves into action. Some would say what we can do, because the militia will descend upon us using blackboots and water canons.

“Look at the Red Shirts in Bangkok. Isn’t it uplifting to see the power of citizens?” said Makoni during his address to journalist at a press club.

The Red Shirt protesters started demonstrating in mid-March, demanding that the government step down and new elections be held.

Scores of people have been killed and nearly 2,000 wounded since then.

However, last week government banned all demonstrations till the end of the World Cup in South Africa.

Co-Home Affairs Minister Giles Mutsekwa of the MDC party issued a circular stating that no demonstrations would be permitted until after the World Cup.

Makoni said the one year old inclusive government had failed to uplift the people’s lives and eradicate political violence.

He claimed that three leaders of the coalition are preoccupying themselves with accumulating material wealth at the expense of the masses.

Makoni, who came a distant third in the four man race for presidency March 2008, particularly criticised the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, which he said, had failed to address the plight of the people but preoccupied itself with fighting for positions for its officials.

“It’s all about power and positions for themselves. There is nothing in there for you and I,” he said.

Fresh elections are the only solution to Zimbabwe’s problems, he suggested.

“This country needs early elections so that we can have an effective leadership that draws its mandate from the people of Zimbabwe” he said.

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