Zimbabwe troops assaulting youth and others in capital

Witnesses say Zimbabwean soldiers are still roaming the streets of the capital and assaulting people, even after the president denounced violence by security forces as “unacceptable”.

Soldiers in two army trucks appeared to be targeting street vendors as they cruised Harare’s streets at nightfall.

Human Rights Watch’s southern Africa director Dewa Mavhinga says uniformed soldiers have injured many people and there is “no reason for the wanton attacks”.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa cut short an overseas visit amid growing accounts of violence by soldiers, police and ruling party youth gangs in a crackdown on protests against a dramatic fuel price increase.

The ongoing assaults raise questions about the influence the president has to rein in the military’s use of force.

Human Rights Watch says “the mask has now been taken off the Mnangagwa government” in Zimbabwe after hundreds of people were wounded or arrested in a crackdown on protests and at least 12 were killed.

Southern Africa director Dewa Mavhinga told reporters in Johannesburg that the military opened fire on crowds, killing bystanders as well as protesters, and wounding others. Security forces have gone house-to-house in Harare, Bulawayo and other cities, beating and torturing men.

He calls the government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa the same as that of longtime leader Robert Mugabe but with “an even more brazen system in charge.”

Mavhinga says the shootings in broad daylight and the shutdown of the internet are extreme and unprecedented.

He urges Zimbabwe’s neighbors to pressure it to stop abuses, especially South Africa, the 16-nation Southern Africa Development Community and the African Union.

Source News24


Youth Minister Kirsty Coventry Saddened By Violence In Zimbabwe

By Talent Gondo

Sports and Recreation minister Kirsty Coventry has said she is deeply saddened by the violence which rocked the nation imploring government to take action against the pepetrators of violence.

The youths minister said Zimbabwe needs peace so that the nation can move forward.

“What has happened in Zimbabwe has saddened me immensely. I am sorry to everyone that has been affected by the recent events. Violence is never the answer and needs to be investigated and actions taken. We need peace so no one suffers and we can rebuild our nation together.”

Source Zimeye

Zimbabwe Youth Alliance leader charged with treason

By Newsday Staff

Zimbabwe Youth Alliance president Kumbirai Learnmore Magorimbo appeared in court on Friday facing charges of seeking to subvert a constitutionally-elected government after he allegedly posted messages on his Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp walls, inciting workers to take part in last week’s job stayaway.

Social movement #ThisFlag leader Evan Mawarire was last week detained over a similar charge and is expected to challenge his placement on remand at the High Court this week.

Magorimbo (23), who was represented by human rights lawyer Kudzai Kadzere, appeared before magistrate Elisha Singano, who remanded him to today for ruling after he challenged his placement on remand.

Magorimbo also argued that the facts relied on by the State did not disclose an offence.

It is the State’s case that last week, Magorimbo posted messages on his Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp accounts and incited the general populace of Zimbabwe to stay away from work and engage in acts of public violence across the country, between January 14 and 16.

The State alleges that in his messages, Magorimbo encouraged citizens to join hands with various trade unions and pressure groups to embark on demonstrations aimed at shutting down the country in protest over recent fuel price hikes, shortages and the deteriorating economic situation.

The State alleges the riots led to loss of lives and property as the demonstrators turned violent.

Magorimbo was arrested on January 16 along Leopold Takawira Street, where he allegedly wanted to hold a Press conference.

Peter Kachirika and Isheunesu Mhiti appeared for the State.

Source Newsday

The Youth Will Save Zimbabwe

By Zifiso Masiye

What really caught Ian Smith unawares was presumptuous complacency and his government’s arrogance of incumbency… a deeply entrenched sense, both of class entitlement and invincibility based, not so much on any careful appreciation of the reality of existing social dynamics and potentially explosive, glaring conditions of inequality at the time, but more on the prime minister’s “assumed” monopoly of power, on absolute control of a corky Rhodesian army and loyal British South African Police (BSAP) – a bottleneck stranglehold of the media, communication networks and all perceivable forms of community to community interaction. The complaency was based on a supremely happy and secure white minority and a nearly complete underestimate of the capacity and simmering groundswell of black anger.

Although he did have a loyal ring of “baas-boys” and dutiful African chiefs, supported by a gamut of repressive native laws, whose employ it was to keep black emotions in check and to report and suppress any semblance of dissent, the gulf of disconnect, lack of empathy and sheer removal of government from the lived realities of the majority population was as spectacular as it was sincere when the shit the fan. Wrong, he might have been, but he was sincere in his corky racist rants that his were the happiest natives in colonial Africa, and not in a 1 000 years was regime change even a thinkable dream. A couple of malcontents here and there, “vanongohu kura! (bark)” Do such words sound familiar?

Not surprisingly, the spontaneous outburst of violent national protests of 1963 aka Zhii! which rocked the republic when angry, frustrated and fed up youths, mushrooming impromptu like popcorn – up and defied all establishment, burning, looting, destroying infrastructure willy-nilly – only attracted disdainful scorn, dismissive anger and a vengeful, spirited clampdown and hounding of chief protagonists, the likes of Benjamin Madlela, Misheck Velaphi, Macebo, Dumiso Dabengwa, Abel Siwela…”the misguided” terrorist ring-leaders.

The protests were outlawed. At a time they were all meant to be grateful for education, jobs and wages and white civilisation so gifted them by benevolent colonial settlers, happy natives had absolutely no business claiming rights comparable to their to their white masters. The misguided rogue elements and malcontents upsetting the hard-earned peace and stability enjoyed by Rhodesians, so soon after a peaceful Rhodes n Founders holiday would be smoked out, charged with treason and hanged in shame to dissuade any temptation to treasonous thinking amongst native youths in the future. A young defiant Emmerson Mnangagwa was one such malcontent who missed the hangman’s noose by a whisker and escaped to Mbeya, Tanganyika.

“Sagqibela amadibha” is common place Zhii mantra that captures the indiscriminate ire of black young people that bore the brunt of a rogue racist regime and took the mantle to define their own destiny. Indeed, were you ask Mnangagwa today, as does my veteran father, Velaphi – the dip tanks, the schools, the stores, the bridges and great infrastructure that the Zhii protests targeted and destroyed, were all valuable social and economic infrastructure that had little or nothing to do with their protest agenda of governance or the trade union meeting that security forces had blocked at Stanely Square.

It was Joshua Nkomo who remarked once, that any fear that the country would sink into oblivion was misplaced as long as mothers bore children and young people were there, because the national conditions would recruit the youth and cause them to serve it.

Once it became obvious to the youth of the 60s, not only that the government of the day deliberately designed to exclude them and the black majority from access and equitable benefit from their birth right, but that a small circle and select class of citizens had, by virtue of incumbency, awarded themselves and their families unlimited, ring-fenced right to the fundamental resources of their motherland; once it became obvious to the youth of the 60s that, beneath all the rhetoric, the government in Salisbury…and their kith and kin had set out to feather their nests, enrich themselves and loot the future, the young people did not need an invitation, a third hand or any obvious capacity. The youth rose up spontaneously and claimed their future!

Once it became eminently clear that Robert Mugabe, with all his illustrious liberation pedigree had become increasingly removed from and deaf to the plight and experiential realities of the citizens and ordinary people, the youth in his very party did not need any invitation, any foreign hand or indeed any constitutional mandate to remind him, rather crudely that no matter how big Grace thought he was, neither Zanu-PF, let alone Zimbabwe could ever fit into his aged pockets. They rose spontaneously, claimed and rescued their future from the jaws of a rabid dynasty. Or did they?

It counts for little what the ultimate spark of the fire was, or indeed the nature and direction that the fire eventually takes, whether it be the 17th Century French Revolution, the Arab Spring, bread riots elsewhere or the contemporary Youth uprisings against African liberation governments-gone-mad.., everywhere in the world where arrogant, aging regimes blind themselves to their national parenting mandate and the consuming cause of young people, electing instead to muffle voices, to confine access to self, party and inner circle patronage, the young people shall rise invariably and violently claim their future.

In their typical narrow strategic spans of thought, African despots create a circumvented sense of entitlement based on a liberation history that means less to emerging generations. Rather than the future, in which they can’t perceive a role for themselves, they invest in history and the here-and-now, in which spaces they seek to exclude all else, but themselves and thus decidedly lock their ears to the loud knock of the future. The investment in closed governance, in captured institutions, in rule by fear, in repressive laws and in instruments of the state security are all indicators of sheer fear of the future and the blind arrogance of incumbency.

If nothing else, the greatest duty of any government is to create opportunity and hope in the minds of the youth. We can fill up our prison cells with so-called hooligans and terrorists post stay-away, but the damning bankruptcy of hope and promise, of the potential of basic human dignity in the prospects of all our young people is the most potent fuel of the fire in our streets and our greatest sign of times.

The passage of time has not solved yesterday’s street kids who today are young street adults in our midst. Remarks Stompi (33), one of the seven young men by my street corner, “Mdala, I have watched you come out of your house, drive past in your twin-cab and get to your work office daily for nine years while I sit in this drain hole. I have 8 O’Levels and 8 points at A’ Level. I have a good degree. However, my mind can’t relate to your car, your house or your office in the remotest of my dreams, yet I have my own family now. I ask you to get into my shoes and tell me why I should think kindly of you, your house, your car or your office in these circumstances…

“It is a time-bomb you and your government are sitting on, khulez!”

Featured photo credit: SABC News

Source Bulawayo24

Report: Internet blackout and a week of violence in Zimbabwe

By Makhosazana Kunene

There is a lot of violence now in Zimbabwe with a communication shutdown and big protests this week. Some people are dead, others are hurt and some are arrested.

Reporting is difficult. The internet and social media was completely cut off Friday and only opened late in the evening.

Shops have been closed and transportation is not operating.

People have been told to stay inside at home because if you go outside you might die. It is a tough situation.

A strike started on Monday with the announcement about the increase in the price of petrol.

According to a Friday morning report by Reuters, Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa raised fuel prices by 150 percent. A gallon of gas was almost $13, the story said, the most expensive in the world.

Protesters said they will not stop until the president resigns.

It got worse as the week went on.

On Friday, the situation was better in some places, but in other areas, including certain townships, people were breaking into shops and vandalizing.

Source Youthjournalism

Zimbabwe: Zanu-PF Youth Leader Accused Of Protest Murders Freed After Chiwenga Intervention

By Onesimo

Zimlive reports that Zanu-PF youth leader, Godwin Gomwe, who was accused of murder in the skirmishes of the protests this month has been freed. Gomwe was apparently released following an order from Acting President Constantino Chiwenga. Gomwe was arrested over the shooting deaths of two people.

Said sources to Zimlive:

“Gomwe was arrested by Budiriro police and later taken to the Law and Order section at Harare Central. He was charged for shooting two people, but we were later made to understand Chiwenga had secured his release. The final ignominy for the police was having to first apologise, and then escort him to his home as per orders.

A day after his release, on Thursday, they were terrorising residents of Highfield. He drives around in a Ford Everest, while the rest of the gang has Ford Rangers. We want to believe he commands this terror group.”

Source Pindula