SCORES of youths claiming to belong to the MDC-T yesterday staged a demonstration in Harare’s Highfield high-density suburb to protest results of last month’s elections, which they claimed were rigged by President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF.
BY MOSES CHIBAYA
The 89-year-old leader secured 61% of the vote while MDC-T leader and outgoing Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai got 33%.
The youths gave Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), a body mandated to run the elections, a 60-day ultimatum to release full details of the disputed poll, including verified votes in each district and copies of voters’ lists used at over 9 000 polling stations.
“As youths, we are prepared, we are ready to do anything; we are ready even to shed our blood,” said one of the youths who seemed to be leading the protest. “We are not going to give Mugabe a chance to rule Zimbabwe again. We demand our vote from Robert Mugabe and ZEC must release the information we want within 60 days.”
But MDC-T spokesperson, Douglas Mwonzora yesterday professed ignorance of the demonstration.
“I have no knowledge of that; MDC-T youths have not made any demonstrations. I don’t know anything about that,” he said.
The demonstration, however did not last long as the youths quickly dispersed, probably out of fear of arrest as the protest was not sanctioned by the police.
A couple of minutes after the demonstration, a police pick-up truck with officers made several rounds at the shopping centre monitoring the situation.
The demonstration came a day after Tsvangirai withdrew his Constitutional Court poll petition citing the non-availability of crucial vote material which formed the basis of his court challenge.
Before the withdrawal, the MDC-T wanted the details to support its claims that up to one million eligible voters were prevented from voting.
ZEC has said at least 300 000 voters were turned away and 206 000 received assistance. The commission said nearly 3,5 million people cast their ballots.