MDC youths rap cops over ‘brute, intolerance to divergent views’

MDC youths have rapped the police for their intolerance to divergent views and their propensity to use brute force to crush constitutionally-guaranteed protests against misgovernance. BY KHANYILE MLOTSHWA

Source: MDC youths rap cops over ‘brute, intolerance to divergent views’ – NewsDay Zimbabwe August 22, 2016

The opposition party’s youths secretary-general, Discent Bajila yesterday said it was worrying that in the “past three months, not less than 500 citizens have been beaten, arrested or (experienced) both, while exercising their constitutional rights”.

“This figure adds to deaths on account of police brutality as recorded in Makokoba six weeks ago,” he said.

Bajila said on Thursday last week, police arrested MDC youth spokesperson, Brighton Makunike and other young people, as they marched in solidarity with Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (RTUZ)’s campaign for better working conditions.

“It is our contention that their demands are not only peaceful, but legitimate and just. It is a matter of public knowledge that rural-based civil servants suffer the most, as they travel to their work stations on dilapidated roads and live on unclean and unsafe water and unreliable, hazardous sources of energy among other challenges. Rural workers deserve a better government with a devolved administration in order to be able to attend to the exclusive needs of each community and each sector.”

Bajila demanded the immediate release of Makunike, RTUZ president, Obert Masaraure, activist Linda Masarira and “all political detainees”.

“We demand the State’s compensation of Makokoba victims and survivors of police brutality. There must also be the speeding up of bilateral and multilateral efforts towards the building of a united democratic opposition coalition to fight Zanu PF cannibalism from now until 2018 elections,” he said.

“The MDC youth assembly is committed towards peaceful multilateral co-operation with democratic, non-violent youth groups in fighting for a fair and just Zimbabwe where diversity of opinions is celebrated and not suppressed.”