Why police crushed MDC-T youth demo

By Staff Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Republic Police anti-riot section today (Wednesday)  violently disrupted a sanctioned MDC-T Youth Assembly demonstration in which resulted in many people sustaining serious injuries while six got arrested in the process.
MDC-T Youth Assembly was demonstrating against the decision by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to allocate fewer registration centres in Harare and Bulawayo compared to rural based provinces.
Dubbed #MyZimbawe demonstration, the youth assembly was targeting to hand over a petition to ZEC but were blocked by the heavily armed police who were manning ZEC premises and also had a heavy presence in the central business district.
Addressing journalist on Monday ZEC Chairperson Justice Rita Makarau said the MDC-T youths were free to go ahead with their planned demo but suggested a meeting with opposition political parties instead.
Hundreds of protesters marched along Nelson Mandela towards ZEC offices, in song and dance, demeaning Makarau while waving placard inscribed with their demands.
Leading from the front, MDC-T National Youth Assembly Chairman Happymore Chidziva popularly known as “Cde Bvondo” in political circles demanded that ZEC should be given its independence arguing that the organisation is currently infested by security agents.
“ZEC must be independent, we don’t want to hear anything about soldiers and CIOs in ZEC, the issue of diaspora vote must be urgently addressed,” Chidziva demanded.
The demo which had started peacefully ended up being violent when riot police provoked the protestors. Elderly people who were queuing for their pension at POSB bank along Nelson Mandela were forced to flee for their lives as the running battles intensified.
The running battles lasted for more than two hours.
MDC-T Harare Provincial Youth Assembly Secretary Denford Ngadziore later released a statement claiming that several people had been seriously injured while six got arrested.
This is however not the first time that police has blocked a sanctioned demo, around the same time last year, scores of protesters were arrested during a National Electoral Reform Agenda (NERA) demo.
Constitutionally, section 59 gives citizens rights and freedoms to peaceful demonstrations and to submit petitions.
Opposition political parties are demanding electoral reforms ahead of the 2018 watershed elections.

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Nyasha Ngonidzashe Mukapiko

Freelance Multimedia Journalist | Fixer | Social media consultant

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