News:Coalition Protest Still On, Says Opposition Parties
<vote /> Zimbabwe's coalition of opposition parties has said its mega demonstration planned for today is still on despite threats from the police that the protest would be crushed violently. The protest is for for electoral reforms. 18 political parties, who have formed a coalition to push for electoral reforms called National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera), said yesterday they had mobilised over 150,000 supporters to demonstrate in Harare today over government’s reluctance to implement electoral reforms to level the political playing field ahead of the 2018 elections.
It is feared the demonstration will get ugly especially if the police trigger chaos by firing teargas into a marching crowd. Earlier this week police used brute force to crush an MDC-T youth protest march, culminating in violence that saw looting and destruction of property in Harare.
Police last week advised against the demo saying that the 150,000 number of marching people was too large for the city to accommodate. This despite that Zanu-PF has held million man marches twice in Harare this year. NERA approached the courts to challenge the police's position on the demo and a ruling is expected this morning.
Said NERA & MDC-T lawyer Douglas Mwonzora:
We say no to the legal advice the police are giving us. As usual, we have gone to the court and we expect a hearing any time, as you know the High Court works 24 hour. The police never cited any other reason that they suspect there will be violence or that they have manpower shortage. This is a peaceful protest. In fact, 150 000 people are just very few compared to the (Zanu PF) million-man march which the police never said would disrupt traffic and was allowed by the same police
- Molly Ngwarati
- Giles Mutseyekwa
- Professor Solwayo Ngwenya
- Winnie Muchanyuka
- Taungana Ndoro
- George Murambatsvina
- Mike Sibangani Lungu
- Moreblessing Ali
- Vumba Botanical Gardens