SA-based youths protest against Zim

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A pressure group in Johannesburg, South Africa, the Zimbabwe Youth Wing (ZYW), will today hold what it calls a “Black Christmas” campaign meant to raise awareness about alleged human rights abuses in Zimbabwe.

The campaignhas been timed to coincide with Unity Day celebrations today.

ZYW is mobilising everyone sharing their concern to wear black armbands on the day Zanu PF claims to signify unity in the country following the signing of the Unity Accord with the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo’s PF Zapu in 1987.

In a statement, Ishmael Kauzani, the ZYW leader, said the campaign was also aimed at putting pressure on government to act on issues of political violence and provision of psychological support for exiled victims who suffered such abuses.

“We strongly feel that the Unity Day celebrations in Zimbabwe are a mockery and we oppose Zanu PF propaganda,” Kauzani said.

“The Zimbabwean justice system poses a dilemma for those concerned with human rights and it is time to strengthen resistance to (President) Mugabe’s defiant behaviour that is disrupting social order and it is our responsibility to react against a system that has reduced Zimbabweans to destitution,” he said.

ZYW said their concerns include “unjustified” arrests of (President) Mugabe’s political opponents, the incarceration of MDC-T youth leader Solomon Madzore, and the continued use of a Zanu PF-aligned militia group, Chipangano. Madzore was arrested early in October for allegedly taking part in the murder of a Harare police officer, Inspector Petros Mutedza.

The MDC-T has maintained that the youth leader, together with seven others, are innocent.

ZYW said the protesters would also campaign for the immediate arrest and sentencing of known perpetrators of political violence.