- Southern Africa
- Conflicts - Politics - Demonstration
Zimbabwe: Tsvangirai warned by Zanu-PF youths
A month long ultimatum has been issued to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai by Zanu PF youths today for him to call for the removal of the economic sanctions by March 24 or "risk action from the youths of Zimbabwe".
Zanu PF youths who caused a massive traffic jam and panic in the capital Harare marched through the streets demand that western sanctions on the southern African nation be lifted.
The placard waving youths, numbering about a thousand, were escorted by dozens of police officers. The sloganeering protesters briefly gathered in front of the United States embassy, but officials said no specific demand was made.
"The protesters did not present any specific demands to the Embassy. The U.S. Embassy believes in the right of all Zimbabweans to freely gather and peacefully express their opinions," the US embassy said in a statement.
But for the premier it was clear. "We thereby call upon the Prime Minister RM Tsvangirai following the inevitable evidence given to us by British Foreign Secretary D. Miliband to call for the immediate removal of sanctions. "We ask for your immediate response within a period of a month," the petition stated.
However, its not clear what form of action would befall Tsvangirai who has in the past escaped death by a whisker. Violence is not ruled out.
Last week he was in South Africa for to surgery linked to injuries sustained in election violence in 2008. He was nearly killed during assaults by police details while in detention at High-fields police station in Harare on March 11, 2007.
The placards carried messages to Zanu PF’s coalition partners in the unity government, including one which declared: “Don’t Disengage, Do Your Part, Condemn”. Another said: “Sanctions Must Go Now, Now or else!”
The European Union recently extended by a year a travel ban and asset freeze on President Robert Mugabe and 196 other individuals, mainly members of his Zanu PF party, who are accused of human rights violations.
However, the premiers MDC described the march “as cheap grand-standing today’s so-called demonstration in Harare by hired Zanu PF youths on petty issues which have nothing to do with the daily challenges facing the people of Zimbabwe”.
”We condemn the violent and rowdy youths who disturbed peaceful Zimbabweans going about their daily business” said the MDC.
MDC said instead of focusing on divisive politics that corrodes and destroys the fabric of unity Zimbabweans must deal with issues that unite the people.
“This is no time to engage on false debate, but on issues that advance the people’s cause and bring about a democratic and prosperous Zimbabwe” it added.