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Group protests against Mugabe's 2010 plans
January 25, 2007

HARARE - Business briefly came to a halt in Harare as members of the Save Zimbabwe Campaign protested in the city centre against plans by the government to extend President Robert Mugabe’s term by two years.

Mugabe’s term ends in 2008 but his ruling ZANU PF party, which has absolute majority in Parliament, has said it wants to amend the Constitution to allow him to remain in office until 2010.

Save Zimbabwe, a coalition of opposition parties, churches, civic society groups, the student and labour movements, is mobilising Zimbabweans to resist the move to keep Mugabe in office after the expiry of his elected term.

Coalition members went around Harare’s First Street pedestrian mall distributing fliers condemning plans to postpone the presidential poll. Other activists blew whistles while motorists were hooting, in what protest organisers described as the "Sounds of Freedom".

The protest which took place during lunch hour lasted for about 10 minutes.

Although ZimOnline reporters saw police chasing after the protesters, there were no immediate reports of anyone arrested.

Zimbabwe’s tough Public Order and Security Act bans citizens from marching or gathering in groups of more than three without prior permission from the police. The law has been used exclusively to ban any public show of dissension against the government.

The members of the Save Zimbabwe Campaign said the protests would take place every Wednesday for 10 minutes during the lunch hour.

Zimbabwe is in the grip of an acute economic crisis that has spawned the world’s highest inflation of 1 281.1 percent, shortages of food, electricity, essential medicines, fuel and just about every basic survival commodity.

Critics blame the crisis on repression and wrong policies by Mugabe and say two more years with the veteran President at the helm would only delay Zimbabwe's economic recovery. - ZimOnline

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