South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), has expressed concern over civilian protests in Zimbabwe against President Robert Mugabe’s government and has labelled the protests as being sponsored by elements seeking regime change.

“The struggling Zimbabwean economy, which has been going on for a long time, should not give a licence to regime change elements to revive restlessness in Zimbabwe. Every citizen of Zimbabwe should appreciate the difficulties and contribute positively in the regulation of the Zimbabwean economy,” ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe said here Tuesday.

He said South Africa would assist Zimbabwe as a fellow member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), but that it was up to Zimbabweans to effect the initiative to build their country’s economy.

A social media campaign dubbed “ThisFlag” and “ZimShutDown2016” saw Zimbabwean citizens stay home last week, in protest against Mugabe and the ruling ZANU PF party. The activists decried the ailing economy, lack of jobs and late payment of civil servants’ salaries.

The mass stay-away was an act of defiance against alleged government corruption and was to force Mugabe to step down after being at the helm for more than three decades.

Video clips and images of anti-riot police beating up citizens in an effort to suppress the protests went viral on social media. The organizers have since indicated that a second stay-away was scheduled Wednesday and Thursday this week.

Source: Nam News Network

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