Police break up MDC youth demo

HARARE - Police yesterday clashed with MDC youths in Harare, battering the demonstrating opposition supporters who were demanding jobs.

Six MDC youth activists were seriously injured and others were arrested as police violently clamped down on the peaceful protesters.

The injured were rushed to hospital.

Police spokesperson Charity Charamba and her deputy, Paul Nyathi, were not taking calls from the Daily News yesterday.

The clash occurred in the morning in the central business district. The youths started gathering opposite Town House at 10am amid heavy police presence.

Around 11am, they began to sing and chant party slogans, marching in the city. The police signalled for them to stop, but the youths continued with their march singing: “Mapurisa siyanai nekunetsana nevanhu. (Police leave us alone.)”

The youths intended to march to the MDC headquarters at Harvest House where their leaders were due to address them.

Police followed closely and when the youths were about to get to Harvest House, they pounced, beating them up.

The MDC supporters immediately dispersed, running in different directions, with police in hot pursuit.

After the demo, banners written: “We want jobs now”, were scattered on the pavements.

Photojournalist Angela Jimu was arrested, and had her camera, mobile phone and press card seized by the police.

The demo comes a month after the MDC Youth Assembly launched a national campaign for jobs.

The violent clampdown took place while Sadc leaders gathered in Victoria Falls where President Robert Mugabe assumed chairmanship of the regional organisation. He is also in line to take over leadership of the African Union next year.

“The Youth Assembly deputy chairperson for Harare province Stan Manyenga was one of them (the youths) and legislator Ronia Bunjira was also arrested,” Clifford Hlatshwayo, MDC
youth spokesperson said.

“The MDC condemns the police’s violent action against a peaceful protest in violation of the national constitution which makes peaceful protests legal.”

Hlatshwayo said the march was peaceful.

“This shows us that government is ruthless, brutal and harasses its people,” Hlatshwayo said.

“It is evident that Mugabe cannot be the chair of Sadc. Sadc thrives on peace, stability and development and Mugabe is against all these traits. Mugabe is not fit to be the chair of Sadc let alone be the president of this country.

“He has no respect for his people. We want Sadc to review his appointment.”

Hlatshwayo vowed the MDC youths would carry out the demonstrations every week.

“This is just the beginning,” he said. “We will demonstrate every week in all parts of the country. We are going to demonstrate for jobs until we get them. The police should brace for us because every week we will be on the streets.”

Comments (6)

why do yu MDC people bring a few youths on the road when yu have a lot of supporters yu can mobilise. tiitirei maserious kana mada maprotests. unless murikuaitira kutvsagisa mari kumadonor.

be serious MDC - 19 August 2014

NGAVAMBO TARISA ZVIRI KUITIKA KU MISSOURRI [USA] KWATODEEDZWA MASOJA [NATIONAL GUARD]!! Gara zviya zvinonzi America is the home of democracy & liberty??!!...saka mapurisa ekuno kuZim ari nani!!

ZVOKWADI - 19 August 2014

Next time they police start provoking demostrating youth please hit back yes you heard me right chaya yena they are beatable don t be cry babies .They police have jobs so why do they stop those who are not employed who are demanding to be employed? to those brave youngsters i say the nation is behind you we salute you for doing something . do not tire until you get what you want. Pliz defend yourselves when attacked no one is going to do that for you .

Diibulaanyika - 19 August 2014

kUaMERICA KURI KUROHWA MUNHU ROUGH IZVEZVI BECAUSE THEY ARE DEMONSTRATING KUURAWA KWEMUUNHU MUTEMA NE POLICE. SO WATS SO SPECIAL ABOUT THIS CASE

munya weByo - 20 August 2014

I hope Zimbabweans can now see that the Devil has ruled over for too long now. People can not be beaten for saying they are hungry in their country. No employment, poor healthy system, brain drain, no local currency, no development, Zimbabweans you are loved by God. Look God does not simply expose you to such things. He will one day make you kings and queens.

Levison - 23 August 2014

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