There was chaos in Harare today at the Zanu-PF’s march for peace after youths exchanged fists while others refused to take part in the march, which was poorly attended, in protest over unavailability of t-shirts.
Some sustained bruises and scars in the melee.
Ironically, the march was meant to call for peace and tolerance ahead of the election but ugly scenes reigned supreme as some youths exchanged blows over the party regalia.
When 263Chat arrived at the scene, Zanu-PF Youth Political Commissioner Godfrey Tsenengamu and other youth leaders were trying, unsuccessfully, to calm the disgruntled mob which had started to exchange blows while the other group remained in the queue waiting for their turn to receive the t-shirts.
“We are not going to march for you if you do not give us T-shirts. We came here with the expectation that we would get the t-shirts and then march with the rest of the team but as it stands, if we try to march we will not be looking Zanu-PF enough. So those that want to march can do but we are staying put,” fumed one youth identified as Tinashe Chigwida from Harare South Constituency.
Another youth, Bright Nyereyemhuka, who said he came from Glenview to take part in the march, had no kind words for the youth league leadership as he accused it of stealing t-shirts.
“This is the worst leadership ever. They are busy stealing t-shirts and giving them to their friends. If you go and check in that car (belonging to one of the youth leaders) you will see a lot of t-shirts stashed in there by we are here fighting to get the little that is left. How can we say we are in the new dispensation when we are still treated the same way or worse than the old regime,” noted one youth who was frothing with anger.
However, Harare Youth Provincial Chairman, Godwin Gomwe told 263Chat that the scuffle was necessitated by the shortage of t-shirts and urged party supporters not to lose heart as he said more t-shirts were on the way in other rallies.
“Yes, we noticed that there were fights over t-shirts. The truth is we did not bring enough for everyone. we only got 15 000 t-shirts as the youth league and we have been dishing them out not only here but at some events as well. So we understand why there were fights, its because everyone wants to be associated with the Zanu-PF brand which gives us courage ahead of the elections,” said Gomwe.
Questioned on the motive behind the march and if it was not a reaction to the MDC Alliance Demonstration held in the capital yesterday, Gomwe said there was a call to peace for everyone ahead of the July 30 elections.
“We wanted to bring peace awareness to every citizen, regardless of their political affiliation. we are saying we need to unite as a nation and exercise restraint ahead of the elections. We want peace, tolerance and unity from all citizens. That is why we held this peaceful march,” said Gomwe.