Mutare city fathers and a group of about 200 Zanu PF youths are reportedly heading for a showdown after the latter invaded a council car park last week and converted it into an illegal flea market.
Acting mayor George Jerison yesterday advised the youths to vacate the premises or risk arrest. But the youths, who claimed to be members of the Manicaland Youth Empowerment Association, vowed to stay put.
Since Monday, the youths have been picketing at council offices demanding audience with the city fathers.
Said Jerison: “We have certain procedures that we follow when one wants to acquire land. Council is not happy with this. Those youths are rogue elements who should be stopped before they seriously prejudice the city. We stopped them and if they become defiant we will engage the services of the police.”
The youths’ spokesperson, Tatenda Garikai said: “We are still doing paper work now on our land, but work is in progress and we will not stop what we are doing. It is news to us that someone is planning to stop us.
“No one in council has the ability to stop us. They are junior to do that and they should be warned before they regret. Who is council when President Robert Mugabe said let’s empower ourselves?”