Police accused of trying to cripple MDC-T youth wing
By Tichaona Sibanda
The MDC-T’s deputy Minister of Justice, Obert Gutu, on Tuesday blasted the
police for using ‘shock and awe’ tactics to try and cripple the activities
of the party’s youth assembly.
‘The strategy now is to target the youths, who form a critical organ of the
party. The youth assembly is the vanguard of the party, all the vibrancy and
dynamism in the MDC comes from the youth,’ Gutu said.
The deputy minister bemoaned what he called a ‘ritual by the police to
arrest and detain MDC members on flimsy charges. Nine MDC members, who were
arrested at the party’s headquarters Harvest House last week, appeared in
court Tuesday where their application for bail was denied.
Gutu said the nine were charged with public violence and assaulting police
officers, during skirmishes between police and vendors in central Harare
last week. They will next appear in court on 26th January.
‘They are facing the usual trumped-up charges. We know it’s a calculated and
deliberate attempt to cripple the actions of the MDC youth assembly. They
just want to spread shock and awe so that our youngsters don’t participate
in party activities. But we all know they won’t succeed,’ Gutu said.
He gave an example of the incarceration of Solomon Madzore, the MDC-T youth
assembly chairman, who was arrested last year facing charges of taking part
in the March 2011 assault and killing of a police officer in Glen View.
Madzore was picked up in October, while seven others were picked up in the
weeks following Inspector Petros Mutedza’s death.
‘You can tell the strategy is to hit from top going down, to cow our members
not to stand up against ZANU PF,’ Gutu added.
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