Clashes expected as Zim opposition MDC stages protests in Harare – reports

2018-11-29 09:19
File: AFP

File: AFP

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Zimbabwean opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party is reportedly set to proceed with its planned anti-government protests in the capital Harare on Thursday.

According to New Zimbabwe.com, the demonstrations will be held at the same time that the country is hosting an Africa ICT convention attended by government ministers and hundreds of delegates.

Reports said early this week that the demonstrations would be held against the worsening economic conditions in the southern African country.

"We have stated that issues related to (this) demonstration (are) coming from the people, they need redress, solutions and they need them now.

"This demonstration is there to express what every Zimbabwean is feeling, you have seen at the rallies the people have asked to be in the streets for them to express how they feel," MDC spokesperson Jacob Mafume was quoted as saying.

Chilling messages

A News Day report cited police spokesperson, Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba as saying in a statement that the police had approved the protest, but said they had gathered intelligence reports that some elements would cause violence.

'Intelligence at hand indicates that some elements are planning to cause violence, disrupt the smooth flow and peaceful environment in Harare central business district. The Zimbabwe Republic Police is on high alert monitoring the situation to ensure all those who will cause violence are dealt with according to the law," Charamba was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, the ruling Zanu-PF party's youth league was reported to have "sent a chilling message to the opposition party, bordering on a declaration of war".

"In view of the impending demonstration by 'thugs' and 'stupids', we would like to encourage the general citizenry and the business community to safeguard their property against the merchants of violence who engineered the same on 1 August 2018.

"On its party, the league will safeguard the property against any harm. Any attempt to destroy property belonging to the party will not be taken lightly," New Zimbabwe.com quoted Zanu-PF youth league secretary Pupurai Togarepi as saying.

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