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.’
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.
One the other hand, the youths apparently appeared to want more space to march back and forth.
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.
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.
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.
The youths sang MDC-T songs while face-to-face with cops.
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.
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