MDC DEMO: Clashes feared as Zanu PF youths also take to the streets

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By Idah Mhetu

ZANU PF youths have indicated they will also be on streets on Harare Thursday as the opposition MDC party stages an anti-government protest, raising fears of clashes between the rival activists.

According to party leader Nelson Chamisa, the MDC’s demonstration is aimed at “transitional authority” to “move the country forward”.

The party said it was inviting all Zimbabweans to join the protest against the country’s worsening economic situation with officials saying the wearing of party regalia was banned.

However, in what may be a counter move, Zanu PF youths circulated a message on social media claiming they will also be carrying out a clean-up campaign on the streets of the capital on the same day.

Ruling party youth leader Pupurai Togarepi would not give more details about the clean-up programme and referred New to another functionary.

“That one is being planned by Tendai Chirau maybe you can confirm with him. I am not the one working on it,” he said.

Chirau however said he was not aware of the programme.

“I don’t know about the clean-up campaign but what I know is that we will be in town specifically at our party headquarters and provincial offices just to protect our properties,” he said.

The MDC claimed that it was aware the ruling party was bussing activists into the capital from the rural areas in a bid to disrupt the demonstration.

During a press conference earlier in the week, Zanu PF youths dismissed the protest as “frivolous and unnecessary”.

“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,” said Togarepi.

“On its part, the league will safeguard the property against any harm. Any attempt to destroy property belonging to the party will not be taken lightly.”