Zanu (PF) Mbare Youth demand Mugabe's birthday donations

Mbare, Harare, – Zanu (PF) youth popularly known as Chipangano are visiting vendors in Mbare demanding President Mugabe's birthday donations and voter registration receipts for the forthcoming referendum to choose a new constitution for Zimbabwe.\r\n

Radio VOP on Thursday witnessed the rowdy Zanu (PF) Mbare youths visiting each vendor at Mbare vegetable market demanding U$ 1 donations for Mugabe’s 87th birthday celebrations known as the 21st February movement.

Zimbabweans were last year consulted, amid chaos and violence, for their views on the new constitution by an outreach programme spearheaded by a parliamentary committee.

“What we were told is to produce $1 plus the voter registration receipt. They are saying that the $1 is for the 21st February movement celebrations due on 26 this month here in Harare,”a vendor told Radio VOP.

Zanu (PF) has in the past threatened vendors at both Mupedzanhamo market and Mbare vegetable market with eviction if they fail to support the party and Mugabe.

Meanwhile a Mbare Magistrate Rebecca Kaviya on Thursday freed on bail Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Mbare Ward 3 councillor Paul Gorekore and six other supporters, who were arrested on Monday for allegedly assaulting some Zanu (PF) supporters.

The seven, who will return to court on February 17, were accused of throwing stones at Zanu (PF) supporters who were passing outside the MDC offices in Mbare. The supporters, who are Mbare residents, were allegedly clearing some debris from their party’s shattered offices, which were demolished by some Zanu (PF) youths last week.

The incident has since sparked political violence in one of the oldest townships of Harare which has seen most people injured and hospitalised in the past few weeks.

Magistrate Kaviya granted free bail to the seven Mbare residents after the residents’ lawyers Tawanda Zhuwarara and Jeremiah Bamu of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) applied for their release on bail.

The State had opposed bail and had led evidence from the investigating officer, Detective Assistant Inspector Lazarus Jonasi Majonga.