Cape Town – Zimbabwe's protest pastor Evan Mawarire has criticised Zanu-PF's planned counter-protests against pro-democracy activists, saying the move "won't achieve anything".
Reports on Tuesday indicated that ruling party's youths had threatened a series of protests meant to counter pro-democracy marches in the capital Harare.
Unnamed sources within Zanu-PF said that the youths were set to carry placards that denounced the leaders of the anti-government protests which have engulfed the country recently.
But speaking to News24 on Wednesday, Mawarire, who is the leader of the #Thisflag movement, which organised nationwide strikes against the government two weeks ago, slammed Zanu-PF's plan, saying that the problems that the country faced would still remain.
"It doesn’t help to counter-protest because you can counter-protest all day long, but the issues remain, failed polices remain… The fact is that the government through Zanu-PF promised us 2.3 million jobs, we don’t have those. They promised us investment and industries, we don't have those.
"After the march, the issues are going to to be staring the ordinary citizen in the face and that's the tragedy," Mawarire said.
Mawarire blamed President Robert Mugabe’s government for the unrest in the southern African country.
"The government is the one that is putting austerity measures against its own citizens by banning traders who have created jobs for themselves after they (government) failed to give us jobs. So you can’t counter-protest those things," said Mawarire.
The Zimbabwean government recently put in place strict new import regulations, which affected cross border traders.