Group Marks 2008 Election Violence

By Staff Reporter

Harare, June 27, 2016 – CRISIS in Zimbabwe Coalition (CIZC) has called on local youths to resist continued abuse as political violence tools by politicians and start thinking about issues affecting their livelihoods.

CIZC said this in a statement to commemorate the killing of over 200 opposition supporters during the period running up to the bloody presidential run-off election June 27, 2008.

In the violence, Zanu PF youths are alleged to have taken an active role in the killings, rape and assaults of known MDC-T supporters.

The violence was ignited by President Robert Mugabe’s embarrassing defeat to bitter rival Morgan Tsvangirai in the first round of the election.

Said CIZC, “Eight years on, as the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CIZC) Youth Committee, we are deeply concerned over the continued manipulation of youths by rowdy politicians at a time the government has failed to deliver on its core obligation to revive the economy and create employment for millions of youths who have been the biggest casualties of a failed economy.”

The group condemned the continued abuse of youths by older politicians as weapons to both protect their positions as well as fighting perceived enemies.

“Events in Zimbabwe over the last years have proved beyond reasonable doubt that as youths, we stand to suffer more from consequences of a volatile political environment or a failed economy hence events that are currently obtaining in the country should serve as a wakeup call to all progressive youths that the time to fight for collective interests is NOW.

“More importantly, Zimbabwean youths need to put aside petty political differences and fight for common good and this is only achievable through resisting political manipulation and activities that only serve personal interests of the political elite at the expense of national cohesion and development.

 

“Inter as well as intra-party political violence, which has been mostly perpetrated by youths need to be condemned in the strongest of terms and we implore youths around the country to uphold the country’s Constitution which guarantees freedom of political affiliation as well as freedom of opinion.”

President Mugabe’s government has refused to admit its role in the killings of opposition supporters during the 2008 presidential run off.

The killings are the country’s second most violent episode since independence, after the massacre of an estimated 20 000 civilians in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces during the early 1980s.