23 August 2017

Zimbabwe: Byo Cops Professional Than Harare Colleagues, Claim MDC-T Youths

Photo: New Zimbabwe
Riot cops chase MDC-T supporters in Harare (file photo).

Bulawayo police have been commended by the MDC-T Youth Assembly for their tolerance towards aggrieved citizens registering their grievances through street marches.

MDC-T youths recently marched in Bulawayo demanding a raft of electoral reforms ahead of the 2018 elections.

Among the demands is the increase of voter registration centres in major cities like Harare and Bulawayo which have historically proved to be opposition strongholds.

Addressing a news conference in Harare this week, the Youth Assembly chairperson Happymore Chidziva said the province allowed the youths to demonstrate peacefully, a stark contradiction to the behaviour of police in Harare.

"I have to commend the police in Bulawayo province. They know how to deal with protests," said Chidziva adding, "The police in this side of the country are the ones who provoke violence."

"When we got there, they even protected us during our march. It is sad that those here don't know that whatever we are pushing for helps them too.

"Each and every police officer is just as human as we are and it's within our right to demonstrate. Even the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission office were happy that we had come with those demands and said they would come back to us quickly."

Harare officers have been accused of being politicised and brutal.

In 2016, hundreds of demonstrators were harassed and arrested for participating in protests which highlighted public discontentment with economic mismanagement by the ruling party Zanu PF.

Chidziva said marches and electoral reforms campaign will be taken to every province as a way of keeping momentum and nationalizing the demands.

"We are going to take the action everywhere. We don't need to be victims of a rigged election again."

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