A "national shutdown" called by shadowy group Tajamuka yesterday flopped, despite revelations that coordinators were paid hefty sums of money through South African contacts.
Government yesterday scoffed at "self-serving attention-seekers" and noted that the failure of the demonstration showed diminished returns of hostile activity as Zimbabweans warmed up to ongoing reforms.
In an interesting development, MDC-Alliance Youth Assembly refused to partake in the so-called shutdown which Tajamuka leader, Promise Mkwananzi, instigated from Johannesburg, South Africa.
MDC insiders revealed that the Youth Assembly leadership flatly turned down Mkwananzi's overtures, openly telling him that they will not be used by self-exiled individuals out to enjoy donor funds in the comfort of South African hotels.
The Herald understands that a mercenary group (name withheld) with offices in Johannesburg, South Africa, is facilitating funding of the planned Tajamuka protests.
Sources said some of the Tajamuka activists were booked at a hotel in Johannesburg.
"As I speak, some of these activists are staying at Palmer Hotel Croydon Kempton Park, Johannesburg (apartment number withheld).
"Over 81 Tajamuka activists received money ranging from US$2 000 to US$5 000. The money comes from Netherlands and Australia," said the source.
The motive behind such fund being to promote uprisings in Zimbabwe. At least five activists deployed in Harare and Bulawayo have received R13 000 each.
A former Zimbabwe National Association of State Universities (Zinasu) president, a Tajamuka activist, and three other activists from Bulawayo got R13 000 each through their FNB accounts in South Africa.
Permanent secretary for Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Mr Nick Mangwana blasted the activists for their selfish projects aimed at making the people suffer.
"Zimbabweans are tired of self-serving attention seekers trying to disrupt their lives. People are seeing through these efforts to unlock donor funds through antics whose ultimate effect is only to worsen a situation which is resolving itself.
"This is the fourth so-called shutdown that has flopped because people are busy dealing with the daily challenges that the country is experiencing through this transition," he said.
Mr Mangwana said Government efforts to turnaround the economy were beginning to bear fruit hence Zimbabweans should be patient.
"The people of Zimbabwe are also clear that the interventions put in motion by President Mnangagwa and his Government are already beginning to bear fruit.
"This is what the purveyors of anarchy are trying to disrupt knowing that a peaceful Zimbabwe on a recovery trajectory robs them of their relevancy.
"I don't know how asking for people to be unproductive by calling for them to shut down the country is meant to improve their outcomes. How does that make people's lives better?".
Mr Mangwana said only discipline, hard work, unity and peace will see Zimbabweans achieving their national goals.
In a statement, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Cain Mathema said they had noted that there were some individuals and groups circulating information on social media threatening people to stay away this week.
"My Ministry would like to assure Zimbabweans that the ZRP has deployed adequate officers to maintain law and order throughout the country and account for all individuals or groups who intend to engage in any form of violence, threats and intimidation," he said.
"The Constitution of Zimbabwe allows people to petition anyone on grievances, but however, these grievances should be petitioned in a manner which does not interfere with the rights of others. My ministry is concerned that previous stay aways or demonstrations have not been peaceful," Minister Mathema said.
He added, "Let me also remind the people of Zimbabwe that anybody or any organisation, is also free to approach President Mnangagwa on any issues, before engaging in demonstration or stay away.
"In any case, Zimbabweans must remember that strike does not necessarily mean to demonstrate along our streets.
"In this regard anyone who organises, incites or invites members of the public to engage in any form of disturbances should be prepared to face the consequences."
Minister Mathema said any individual who receives threats or intimidation must quickly report such threats to the nearest police station.