HARARE – Police yesterday said they had not cleared today’s planned demonstration by MDC youths — setting up a potentially explosive confrontation with the organisers who said they will resist any attempts to stop them from holding their protest march.
“I don’t know about the demonstration, we never cleared it,” police spokesperson senior assistant commissioner Charity Charamba told the Daily News yesterday.
But MDC youth assembly chairman Happymore Chidziva vowed to go ahead with the demonstration as planned — describing attempts by police to stop them as inconsequential and an attempt to frustrate political freedom.
“We will defy if the police try to block our demonstration. We will never fold our hands to cry victims. We will fight them till they reform.
“We can’t allow our generation to be a generation of rigged elections. We are Zimbabweans and it’s our right to uphold the values of the liberation struggle that aimed to have one-man, one-vote, which Mugabe is denying Zimbabweans,” said Chidziva.
“We don’t condone violence, we are not a violent movement,” added Chidziva whose wing has organised today’s demonstration in a bid to put pressure of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) to institute reforms before next year’s elections are held.
The opposition has long alleged that the Zec is biased in favour of President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF and accuses its secretariat of being packed with their functionaries.
In the past, police have ruthlessly crushed opposition protests.
Apart from using excessive force, the authorities have had to resort to imposing bans in the Central Business District by using sections of the draconian Public Order and Security Act.