MDC-T Youths Stage Powerful Demonstration

mdc_demoLed by charismatic political activist, Tsepiso Hellen Mpofu and Joachim Mugova, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) youths in Bulawayo staged a public demonstration in the city on Friday, 7 May 2010.

Motorists blew their horns in solidarity with the activists. Many bystanders chanted Chinja and waved to display the partys popular open-palm symbol. The protestors demanded action against violence and Human rights violations. While waving many placards, one of which read, CHIADZWA WHO IS RESPONSIBLE, the militants distributed leaflets to promote their cause. During their march past Bulawayo Central Police Station, the campaigners sung the following words:

mdc_demo2Uya tiverengane, takashota (Come let us count our numbers. Some cadres are missing.) ZANU, ZANU, ZANU inochekeresa tozviziva, (ZANU is murderous, we know) Tonde akaurayiwa tozviziva. (Tonderai Ndira was murdered, we know) During the road show, activists demanded affordable education. They distributed flyers that read, We call for Government [to make] education accessible to all. The leaflet also called for open media space that is free to the whole society. This call for a liberated press coincided with the blocking by police of journalists marching to commemorate, World Press Freedom Day in Bulawayo and Masvingo. MDC-T youths also campaigned against the Indigenous Empowerment Bill which they castigated as a suicidal move. Pamphlets handed out pointed out that besides scaring away investors, questions are also asked on who are to benefit from this act.

After police refused to receive the protestors notification of the procession, in terms of the notorious and internationally condemned Public Order and Security Act (POSA), the MDC- T Youth Wing petitioned co- Minister of Home Affairs, Mr. Giles Mutsekwa. Having acknowledged their appeal, Mutsekwa intervened in time and the march proceeded. Prior to the granting of Mutsekwas order, MDC-T youth leader, Tsepiso Mpofu, had been intimidated by threats of arrest by officers who mounted a heavy anti-riot police guard at the partys offices. Tsepiso had told the Junta, as the police are commonly called, that the MDC-T was going into the streets with or without their permission. Senior police commanders, had as they have often done in the past, threatened and were really prepared to crush the activists using force.

mdc_demo3On arrival at Mhlahlandlela Building Complex which houses all Government offices, Bulawayo Metropolitan Province Governor, Mr. Cain Matema, refused to receive the protestors petition. He left his personal assistant to attend to the youths on his behalf. When approached by members of the press, Governor Matema ran away from his office. Sadly for the youths, Matema was not there to respond to pertinent questions raised in the document. Matters around the failure by ZANU-PF to fully implement key aspects of the Global Political Agreement (GPA), low civil servants salaries, delays in the making of a new and democratic national constitution and the half-hearted attempts by ZANU-PFs to promote national healing and reconciliation, were all raised in the appeal. Matema, a staunch supporter of ZANU-PF, was appointed Governor by President Robert Mugabe. His continued stay in office is one of the contentious issues bedevilling the GPA.

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