Mbare Rocked By Bloody, MDC-T, Zanu-PF Youths Clashes

MDC-T youths march outside Joina City Mall before they were dispersed and attacked by the police.

Violence broke out when opposition youths, who had booked the venue and obtained a police clearance letter to use the facility, found Zanu PF youths playing a social soccer match and refusing to vacate.

About 30 MDC-T youths were reportedly injured in the skirmishes with others hospitalised after being pelted with stones and bricks.

Several vehicles were also damaged in the melee before riot police intervened and dispersed both youth groups.

When NewsDay visited the scene of the clashes along Ardbennie Road, stones and bricks were strewn all over the area, although no arrests had been made by end of business yesterday.

A woman, who sells roasted maize in the area, said some of the bricks used in the clashes had been taken from her makeshift fireplace.

MDC-T Harare provincial youth secretary Denford Ngadziore confirmed that several members of his party had been hospitalised.
“The clashes were triggered by Zanu PF youths, who invaded Number 5 Grounds, which we had booked to hold our provincial youth forum rally,” he said.

“When we arrived at the venue, we saw Zanu youths playing soccer in the field despite the fact that we had booked the ground and had a police clearance to hold a public meeting there.”

He produced a police clearance letter dated March 4 and signed by Officer Commanding Mbare District, a Chief Superintendent B Ncube.

Part of the letter read: “I have no objection to you holding the political meeting on March 6, 2016 at Ground Number 5 in Mbare from 10am to 3pm.”

Zanu PF Harare provincial youth chairman Edison Takataka said he was unaware of the alleged clashes.

“I am not aware of the clashes. I am yet to receive such information if indeed it happened,” he said.

Harare provincial police spokesperson, Assistant Inspector Tarirai Dube referred all questions to her boss, Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi, whose mobile phone went unanswered.

On February 28, police blocked an MDC-T youth rally in the suburb, claiming the event would clash with a football match played at Rufaro Stadium later in the day.

The move angered MDC-T youths, who accused police of being biased in favour of Zanu PF.

“This is in spite of the fact that the Zanu PF youths hold the same kind of meetings at the said place without any prohibition. The Zimbabwean Constitution allows us to hold meetings on condition we notify the police, which we did. It is not in their place to decide for us which venue is suitable for our meeting,”Ngadziore said then.

“We regard this act as a complete abuse of office and existence of blatant favouritism by the members of the ZRP. This also follows the cancellation of three MDC rallies in Harare South in December 2015 and two demonstrations in 2016 by the police.

Therefore, we as the MDC Harare province youth assembly will not tolerate any such disruptions in future from the police after having informed them,” he said, adding that police must desist from meddling in politics. By Paidamoyo Muzulu

Source: newsday


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