UNEMPLOYED Youth Organisation (UYO) in partnership with organisers of the #Tajamuka campaign yesterday took to Epworth on the outskirts of Harare mobilising young people to demand their democratic rights towards a better Zimbabwe.
BY SOFIA MAPURANGA
The meetings, attended by youths from Epworth, saw police reaction units being deployed in the sprawling, poverty-stricken suburb to monitor the activities of UYO, which were conducted peacefully.
Co-ordinator of UYO, Ishmael Kauzani, said the organisation had launched similar campaigns in most cities and towns as part of efforts to ensure that young people were empowered in the democratic processes that affected them.
“Youths should not take a back seat while they are being abused and subjected to all sorts of misrule by a government purporting to represent the people,” he said, adding UYO was campaigning for President Robert Mugabe and his government to step down.
Kauzani said the government had failed to turn around the fortunes of the country while corruption was now the order of the day.
UYO said at least 12 political parties and 28 civic organisations were supporting calls for the establishment of a new government.
Donald Mavhudzi, of the #Tajamuka campaign, who was also part of the demonstrations, said people were against all forms of police brutality.
“They closed our businesses in Mbare as vendors. It is baffling how government chose to invest in teargas while citizens are hungry,” said Mavhudzi.
Chenai Gwanda, who was also part of the demonstrators, said she belonged to the “lost generation.”
“I have never known a good life. Everything is a struggle,” said the 23-year-old, adding that youths were ready for change.
“Young women end up engaging in all sorts of anti-social behaviours including prostitution to eke out a living. We also need the basic social services that promote a better lifestyle for girls and young women as guaranteed in the Constitution.”
Hamutendi Nyirenda called on youths to actively take part in the country’s democratic processes.
“Youths are docile and the majority of them are taking drugs while the women are engaging in prostitution,” she said, emphasising the importance of a clean voters’ roll.
“The voters’ roll should be fixed or else we must have a one-man one-vote ballot just like we did in 1980,” she said.
Last month, residents of Epworth were subjected to police brutality after they joined a strike by commuter omnibus operators who barricaded roads.
Over 100 residents from Epworth and Mabvuku were hauled before the courts facing public violence charges.