HomeLocal NewsPicture story: MDC-T youths face-to-face street drama with cops

Picture story: MDC-T youths face-to-face street drama with cops

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July 31 2014 afternoon, about a thousand MDC-T youths gathered at Harvest House, their party’s headquarters along Nelson Mandela Street in Harare.

Their mission, to launch what the MDC-T refers to as ‘a series of nationwide protests to force government to deliver on the Zanu PF promise to create 2,2 million jobs.’

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In its poll manifesto, Zanu PF-which promised over 2 million jobs- has, a year after winning elections, not been able to fullfill most of its pledges as the country’s economic woes- characterised by company closures and a crippling liquidity crunch- continues to worsen.

The MDC-T youths demonstration on Thursday afternoon marked the first – in a long time – confrontation between protesters and the police.

The police’s aim, it seemed, was to be to keep the singing and placard-waving youths within a stone throw from Harvest House, and as far away from the nearby Parliament building and other CBD areas as possible.

Reaction police stand on the intersection of Nelson Mandela Avenue  and Innez Terrace Street to keep the MDC-T youths from moving away from taking their demonstration from Harvest House
Reaction police stand on the intersection of Nelson Mandela Avenue and Innez Terrace Street to keep the MDC-T youths from moving away from taking their demonstration from Harvest House

One the other hand, the youths apparently appeared to want more space to march back and forth.

The MDC-T  youths proesting to demand for jobs from government apparently wanted more room to march back and forth along Nelson Mandela Avenue, but the police created a human barricade on the way to Parliament building as seen here in this picture
The MDC-T youths proesting to demand for jobs from government apparently wanted more room to march back and forth along Nelson Mandela Avenue, but the police created a human barricade on the way to Parliament building as seen here in this picture

This resulted in a confrontation between the youths and the dozens of police officers who were equipped with two water canon trucks, tear gas canisters and other accessories used by anti-riot and reaction cops.

This resulted in a confrontation between the cops and the youths
This resulted in a confrontation between the cops and the youths. Here, a police officer negotiates with the youths to retreat and hold their procession within the Harvest House area.

The confrontation was, however, not in any way physical, but rather intriguing for the thousands of by-standers who lined up the street of Nelson Mandela to watch the drama unfold.

The confrontation did not turn physical as  the youths sang and danced close to the police human barricade.
The confrontation did not turn physical as the youths sang and danced close to the police human barricade.

One incident was when one daring youth broke through a human barricade of about five police officers and proceeded to march amid cheers from his fellows.

An MDC-T youth goes through a police human barricade
An MDC-T youth goes through a police human barricade

The youths sang MDC-T songs while face-to-face with cops.

The youths danced,sang and waved placards while the police watched, with their truncheons ready
The youths danced,sang and waved placards while the police watched, with their truncheons ready

As it turned out, the youths, at some point went beyond their limits and placed, albeit briefly, an MDC-T banner on the bonnet of one police car.

An MDC-T youth places a banner on a police truck bonnet
An MDC-T youth places a banner on a police truck bonnet

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That did not last long as the police officers got out of the car to deal with the situation
That did not last long as the police officers got out of the car to deal with the situation

The youths retreated as the leader of the cops asked them to stop 'provoking' the law enforcement agents
The youths retreated as the leader of the cops asked the daring activists to stop ‘provoking’ the law enforcement agents

For a while, there was some co-existence between the two groups, but that did not last long as the overjoyed youths  jeered at passing police trucks
For a while, there was some co-existence between the two groups, but that did not last long as the overjoyed youths jeered at passing police trucks

Youths jeer and wave at a passing reaction police truck
Youths jeer and wave at a passing reaction police truck

MDC-T youths follow a passing water canon truck, singing their party's anti-police songs
MDC-T youths follow a passing water canon truck, singing their party’s anti-police songs

The drama ensued for more than an hour, but at the end, the youths ended their protests and the police left the scene.

REPORT & MOBILE PHONE PICTURES BY TAPIWA ZIVIRA, ONLINE REPORTER

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