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POLICE in heavy riot gear on Friday thwarted a demonstration by MDC-T Midlands South provincial members against unemployment among youths and the declining economy obtaining in the country.

The cops armed with baton sticks, tear gas canisters and guns maintained a heavy presence in the Central Business District of Gweru to prevent the protest despite approving the demonstration earlier on.

The youths intended to hand over a petition to provincial affairs minister, Jason Machaya on the failure by Zanu PF to fulfil its promise of 2,2 million jobs.

They were also demanding electoral reforms, the return of adducted journalist-cum-human rights activist, Itai Dzamara and a stop to proposed grade 7 exam fees, among other issues.

“We had notified the police and they gave us clearance to go ahead with the protest yet they reneged later in the day today (Friday),” MDC-T national youth chairperson, Happymore Chidziva said.

“Very soon we are coming back to Gweru and in other cities we are going to hold these protests without notifying police. Freedom of expression is our constitutional right.”

He Chidziva, “We were going to hand a petition to Machaya in protest against failure by Zanu PF to address electoral reforms, the promised 2,2 million jobs, against the use of traditional leaders by Zanu PF to further its interests and the return of Itai Dzamara among other concerns.”

Source : New Zimbabwe