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Youth Agenda condemns disruption of US Ambassador's meeting by ZANU PF youth militias
Youth Agenda Trust
July 20, 2011

The Youth Agenda has received with great shock and utter disbelief the disruption of a meeting organized by Ambassador Charles Ray for youth civic groups in Kwekwe. The meeting which was scheduled to take place today at Kwekwe theater failed to kick off as marauding youth militias led and organized by Owen Ncube( A senior ZANU PF member in Midlands popularly known as MUDA and ally to Emerson Mnangagwa) stormed the venue singing and chanting slogans. According to sources, one journalist who works with the Newsday was also briefly arrested and later released for taking photographs of the chaos. The Youth Agenda Trust finds this shocking that despite the fact that the meeting was meant to assist Zimbabwean youths to make synergies with the various developmental programmes being instituted by the US embassy, ZANU PF had the courage to disrupt such a progressive gathering. The attack is not only an assault to the right of young Zimbabweans to freedom of assembly or association but is also a signal that the inclusive government has failed to bring the much anticipated democratic reforms where young people are not abused to disrupt civic gatherings. It is also worrying that it is barely three days ago when two youth activists were arrested, illegally detained and brutalized by elements of the same regime after attending an outreach campaign by the Youth Agenda Trust in Goromonzi.

The Youth Agenda Trust would like to send a clear message to ZANU PF that no amount of repression will silence the voice of young Zimbabweans. The great sons and daughters of Zimbabwe who perished in the struggle for our national independence sacrificed their lives to reverse the impact of dangerous and repressive laws such as the Law and Order Maintenance Act (LOMA) which curtailed the rights of black Zimbabweans to assembly and association. It is our deeply held belief that despite the continued efforts by ZANU PF and radical elements of the security forces to scuttle the attainment of a democratic state where people´s power prevail over the wishes of a ruling minority, young Zimbabweans will continue to meet and chat the way forward in determining the political and socio-economic discourse Zimbabwe is going to take.

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