Court Clears MDC-T Anti-Poverty March

By Staff Reporter

Harare, April 14, 2016 – THE MDC-T march to protest massive poverty and theft of $15 billion worth of diamonds is set to go ahead this Thursday after the High Court Wednesday reversed a police ban that had been imposed on the march by the police.

The meeting hung in the balance after police on Tuesday issued a ban on the march saying they were not adequately resourced to cover the demonstration due to the ongoing Independence Day celebrations.

This prompted an MDC-T urgent chamber challenge at the Harare High which sought to interdict police from interfering with the protest.

The application, filed through human rights lawyers Kennedy Masiye and Sharon, was granted on Wednesday by Justice Happias Zhou, paving way for the protest march to proceed.

Addressing journalists in Harare on Wednesday, MDC-T secretary general Douglas Mwonzora said the courts have reversed the police ban and further ordered the country’s law enforcers to pay its application costs.

“We are very excited that we have trampled the Mugabe regime as the judgement passed today (Wednesday) allows us to march in Harare and all others cities and towns around the country,” Mwonzora said.

Mwonzora urged Zimbabweans to come in their numbers for the demonstration while urging a peaceful protest.

“We must come in our numbers to assert the people’s right to demonstrate. We reiterate that this is a peaceful demonstration and we expect the highest standards of behaviour from our members and friends. There will be no violence and looting. We know the enemy may try to plant criminals in our midst. Our marshals and security officers will deal with these so that the public is protected.

“Among the issues we are demonstrating against is the grinding poverty that Zimbabwe has been plunged into by this regime.

“We are demonstrating in outrage at the $15 billion (diamond revenue) that was stolen by State officials and their criminal associates. The unemployment situation that has left most Zimbabwean graduates consigned to vending is also among the issues,” he said.

MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai is set to lead from the march.

It would be the second time this year Tsvangirai has led a street demonstration following one he led in March this year to commemorate and demand the release of pro-democracy activist Itai Dzamara who was abducted in March last year.

To shore up their resolve, the MDC-T on Wednesday invited its labour union allies in the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) to join the march which is set to start at Freedom Square at 10am to Africa Unity Square where Tsvangirai is set to address the gathering.

Similar demonstrations have also been planned for the country’s provinces.

If it is successful, the demonstration would be a huge publicity stunt and boost to the MDC-T’s resolve to bring back its yesteryear glory days when it used enjoy massive support among Zimbabweans.

Although remaining the country’s strongest opposition with a good representation in parliament, the MDC-T has been weakened by splits and lack of strategy to corner the current Robert Mugabe led regime.

The 16 year old opposition has also displayed signs of fatigue as their battle to win power and restore democracy in the country has been an arduous and often dangerous occupation.