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police bar YAT sports tournament
Youth Agenda Trust
July 22, 2013
Police in Zvimba
on Friday barred Youth Agenda Trust (YAT) from conducting a Play
Your Vote Sports Tournament that was scheduled for Vanad Mine in
Zvimba North constituency the following day. The tournament, which
is part of a series of outreach activities that YAT is doing as
part of civic
education ahead of the July 31 polls, was aimed at encouraging
youths to positively participate in elections and shun violence.
Delivering the message, Zvimba police told YAT Coordinator for Mashonaland
West, Ishmael Gava, that the event should not take place citing
unspecified political reasons. The police details immediately revoked
a clearance they had issued earlier on.
had to reschedule the tournament to yesterday (Sunday) at Tiger
Reef Mine where youths from rival Zanu-PF and MDC-T youths took
part in the Play Your Vote Sports Tournament where they opened up
on the political environment in the area. The youths who refused
to be named for fear of reprisals told YAT that they peacefully
co-existed with each other and often organize similar social events
but laid the blame on political leaders whom they said are always
gripped with fear of the unknown. The youths said that they were
looking forward to the polls and would participate peacefully without
unleashing violence on each other.
the youths, YAT programs manager Lawrence Mashungu said that the
Act has brought about positive provisions which outlaws the
previous ones that exposed the electorate to intimidation and manipulation.
Mashungu also shared with the youths what it meant to participate
in national polls by emphasizing that it is their right guaranteed
by the constitution which no-one may take away.
be hoodwinked, when you get into the polling station, no one will
see who you voted for. People who say that are afraid of losing
elections, they will simply be trying to intimidate you,”
called on the youths to ensure they carry proper documents on the
voting day and turn out in numbers and cast their votes. Towards
the end of the event, some Zanu-PF elders who were not happy with
the spirit shown by the youths, tried to disrupt the event by causing
unnecessary skirmishes but the youths could have none of it.
condemns the action by the police to revoke a police clearance and
this serves to confirm widespread fears that security agents in
the country do not tolerate and appreciate the work the civil society
organisations are doing in complementing government work. YAT also
views the latest stunt by security agents as a ploy to create an
uneven playing field. For as long as civil society organisations
are not allowed to conduct their work without hindrance, that election
cannot be said to be free or fair. Realising the incapacities of
the country’s electoral body (ZEC) we maintain that CSOs should
be allowed to complement the body through civic education.
Visit the Youth
Agenda Trust fact
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