Police yesterday dispersed rowdy MDC-T youths who wanted to engage in an illegal demonstration after being addressed by their officials at the party’s headquarters at Harvest House in Harare. The youths, who were addressed by their party leadership, were threatening violence, alleging that last year’s July 31 harmonised elections were stolen.
They were threatening to demonstrate in the capital, calling for Zanu-PF to provide them with about 2,2 million jobs.
Police said the gathering was not sanctioned and deployed details to monitor the situation, but the youths provoked them by marching along Nelson Mandela Avenue.
The youths were blocking traffic as they marched while singing and chanting their party slogans, prompting the police to disperse them.
The MDC-T youth leaders who addressed the illegal gathering included national youths spokesperson Mr Clifford Hlatshwayo and the wing’s deputy chairperson Mr Costa Machingauta.
Officer commanding Harare province Senior Assistant Commissioner Clemence Munoriarwa said the march was not sanctioned.
“We still have some unruly elements within our society who say they want to march and we say no to that because there will be a number of issues we would want to know,” he said. “As police we will want to know what they want to do and achieve so that we prepare ourselves to protect the people.
“We say no to violent demonstrations. Anyone who wants to demonstrate should notify the police and then do so peacefully after being authorised. We don’t sanction demonstrations which we believe would be violent.”
The MDC Renewal Team led by former MDC-T secretary general Mr Tendai Biti condemned the demonstration, saying disgraced party leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai, should focus more on finding solutions to revive the economy.
Renewal Team spokesperson Mr Jacob Mafume said the embattled Mr Tsvangirai had the right to demonstrate, but what was central was to have concrete solutions for the economy.
“There is need for a consensus approach on the economy by creating a national technical transition council,” he said. The Renewal Team is now making its first steps to evolve into a fully-fledged political party following the appointment of its national executive committee last week.
Mr Mafume also criticised Zanu-PF, saying the ruling party’s celebrations one year after the July 31 2013 harmonised elections came at a time the economy was not doing well.