Home » Governance » MDC-T Youths Vow to Stage Demos Despite Threats

THE MDC-T youth wing has vowed to proceed with its planned demonstrations against President Robert Mugabe’s failing leadership despite the veteran leader’s weekend threats he will crush the protests.

The MDC-T youths said last week they were planning massive protests to demand for jobs promised during election campaigns by Zanu PF.

The threats are also part of recent calls by party leader Morgan Tsvangirai to push Mugabe to deliver.

But Mugabe, in a televised address during festivities to mark the country’s 34th independence anniversary on Friday, vowed to crush the protests by his rivals, eliciting angry reactions from MDC-T which insists it was within their rights as enshrined in the country’s supreme law for citizens to express their views.

The MDC-T youths said Wednesday they will not be intimidated by the threats, insisting they are prepared to “fight for their rights”.

They accused Mugabe of harassing and attempting to intimidate them at a time they were trying to assert their rights.

“Why do leaders who claim that they were democratically elected exhibit such anger when they are reminded of their constitutional duty,” party spokesperson Clifford Hlatywayo said in a statement.

“Section 14 of the constitution clearly compels the State to ensure that appropriate and adequate measures are undertaken to create employment for all Zimbabweans, especially women and youths.

“We are determined, we want our jobs now. No amount of threats will stop the jobless.”

In his Friday address, President Mugabe said his government would meet any violent protests against his rule “with violence”.

“But if people are going out merely to create violence because they are being instigated by some NGOs who don’t like Zanu-PF, then they are mistaken,” Mugabe said.

“They must look at us and our history… This old man may be 90 years old but this fist packs a punch, 90 tonnes and I will knock you out with it.”

Mugabe said the protests must be peaceful, threatening to deal with those he said could hijack the protests to topple his re-elected government. The MDC youths said they viewed the State leader’s comments as intimidating to “jobless citizens of Zimbabwe who are prepared to get into the streets demanding their constitutionally given right”.

“Isn’t it ironic that such statements were made on a day the country is supposed to be celebrating its liberation from a previous oppressive and tyrannical regime?” Hlatywayo said.

“The hard won independence is now being used as an instrument to harass and intimidate others, completely taking away their freedom to think and act on their desire within the confines of the law.

“Section 24 of the new charter, among other things obligates the State to adopt reasonable policies and measures, to provide everyone with an opportunity to work in a freely chosen activity, in order to secure a decent living for themselves and their families.

“Put simply, Robert Mugabe and his government must focus on creating jobs so that we the youth can have a chance at living decent lives. We are not asking too much, it’s an obligation that the government must own up to. Threats, intimidation and arrest are not going to put food on the table.”

Source : New Zimbabwe