Home » Legal and Judicial Affairs » Police Disrupt Anti-Kalanga Jibe Demo

POLICE in Harare Wednesday disrupted a protest by scores of activists who were demonstrating against President Robert Mugabe’s recent claim that Kalanga people were “uneducated criminals”.

Leader of Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) Jenny Williams was arrested after protesters stormed Parliament waving placards inscribed “Women 1st”-“Zimbabwe 2nd”-“Do not disriminHATE”, demanding that Mugabe should “personally” retract his anti-Kalanga statements.

Williams and Tambudzayi Manangazira were briefly detained but were eventually released.

Mugabe provoked an ethnic storm at the end of last month’s Sadc extraordinary summit in Harare when he said Kalangas from southern Zimbabwe are “uneducated and prone to committing petty crimes in South Africa”.

“Mugabe’s insults are only a perpetuation of his tendency to destroy every opportunity for realizing national peace and cohesion,” read one of the banners which WOZA members threw at the door steps of Parliament.

WOZA said Mugabe’s previous tribal statements resulted in social unrest in the country adding that his anti-Kalanga utterances were “xenophobic”.

“These statements have previously incited Gukurahundi and the destruction of infrastructure and other forms of violence against white farmers, opposition party members, women and human rights defenders among other groups.

“We are calling on the President to personally and unequivocally retract the blatantly discriminatory, derogatory, demeaning, divisive and unwarranted statement and apologize to the Kalanga people in particular and the people of Matabeleland in general without delay”.

The gaffe attracted widespread condemnation with lobby groups demanding an apology but the veteran ruler has so far remained mum on the issue, preferring to go about his “business as usual”.

Government and pro-ZANU PF organizations have painfully tried to defend Mugabe’s statements but civil society groups continue to press for a personal retraction from the President.

Source : New Zimbabwe