Zimbabwe’s ambassador to South Africa, Isaac Moyo, says despite the country’s current social and economic challenges, only polls and not protests could be used to change the government.
Moyo further reiterated the fact that the government remained strong and in charge. He reiterated a point made by president Mugabe in August that an ‘Arab Spring’ will not take place in the country.
“They are thinking that what happened in the Arab Spring is going to happen in this country but we tell them that it is not going to happen here. They are fighting because of Americans,” Mugabe told state television in response to the wave of protests.
The Arab Spring was a series of uprisings that toppled leaders across the Arab world.
Moyo was speaking at a meeting on the role the diaspora can play in the development of the southern African country. The meeting was between the government and Zimbabweans resident in South Africa.
On the role of Zimbabweans in the diaspora had to play in developing the country, “We know they are ready and want to make a contribution to the development of the country. This is just a promotion,” Moyo said.
The country has been plunged into a series of protests which started with the #ThisFlag movement – a social media campaign led by one Pastor Ewan Mawarire. Since then, several groups have clashed with police in the capital during protests.
Zimbabwe: Police violently suppress anti-government protest by unemployed graduates pic.twitter.com/utxw43V0eT— africanews (@africanews) August 3, 2016
Some of the protests have been against economic hardships in the country which is suffering from an economic downturn compounded by the El Nino drought. An opposition parties alliance have also been holding protests calling for electoral reforms.
Another group have taken to the streets against the government’s planned reintroduction of bond notes amid the economic crisis. The frequency of these protests and the clashes led to a police ban on protests in the capital, Harare, a decision that a court suspended days later.
In the recent clash, police used tear gas and batons to disperse protesting traders in the capital Harare.