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New Age Voices - Issue 12
Youth Agenda Trust
February 11, 2011
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Security Agents disrupt Youth Summit
agents disrupted a democracy summit that was held in Harare from
the 27th and was supposed to end on the 30th of January.
The summit, which was
organised by Youth Agenda Trust (YAT), was forced to end pre-maturely
after state agents stormed the gathering and demanded to see police
clearance letters despite the fact that it was a private gathering.
Three officers from the
Law and Order section who could only be identified as Detective
Sergeant Chakerema and Detective Sergeant Manje summoned YAT Coordinator
Arnold Chamunogwa and asked him to explain why his organisation
had organised the summit without their knowledge.
Chamunogwa tried in vain
to explain to the officers that the organization was not supposed
to seek police clearance because it was an internal meeting which
was not open to the general public, much to the fury of the officers
who could not take any of the explanations.
The police details disappeared
from the scene but in no time suspicious unregistered vehicles took
turns to visit the venue, leaving the youths with no option but
to call off the summit with another day to go.
The youths were visibly
terrified by developments that some of them who had come from as
far as Tsholotsho, Chiredzi, and Mudzi had to pack their bags in
the evening of the same day.
The frightened youths
who refused to be identified told The New Age Voices that the developments
at the venue were a clear sign that the government of Zimbabwe was
not willing to open up democratic space despite committing itself
to uphold human rights.
"This is a clear
sign that Zanu PF does not want democratic processes to take place
in this country. However, we will continue to fight until we have
a new Zimbabwe that is tolerant to democratic gatherings and processes,"
said the youths.
freedom of association and assembly remains a borrowed phenomenon
and more often than not, non governmental and civic society activists
have either been beaten up or arrested on trumped up charges of
violating the draconian Public
Order and Security Act (POSA).
The controversial legislation
is believed to have been crafted by Zanu PF spin doctor and Politburo
member Jonathan Moyo during his forgettable first dance with the
party that was fraught with human rights violations and saw many
activists being arrested, while many opposition party, activists
and supporters especially from the Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) were unlawfully incarcerated.
Another youth activist
who requested anonymity said, "We have never seen such a calculated
attempt to trample on the liberties of the young people in the history
of the youth movement. It is a clear act of provocation."
Meanwhile, police details
from the law and order section phoned Chamunogwa last week threatening
him and summoned him to report to Southerton Police Station.
Chamunogwa told The New
Age Voices that the latest incident is clear testimony that Zanu
PF is running scared and is not comfortable with the youths of this
country taking the lead in championing democratic processes.
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