MDC-T youths yesterday called for the immediate release of their incarcerated counterparts, saying there is no need to continue holding them for crimes against former President Robert Mugabe.
In an interview at Africa Unity Square in Harare where thousands converged in support of the impeachment process against Mugabe, MDC-T youth leader Happymore Chidziva said a number of opposition activists were arrested for various crimes, among them spearheading an anti-Mugabe campaign.
Citizens from different sections of society, among them politicians, church organisations and civic society groups, were piling pressure on Mugabe to resign.
Chidziva said now that everyone had seen the other side of Mugabe, which they had been talking about for years, it was no longer time to keep his critics incarcerated.
“We want our arrested activists to be released. They must be set free now because they are incarcerated on trumped-up charges. Zanu PF should be sincere and do the right thing. We have a lot of people who are in jails,” he said.
“We have Tungamirai Madzokere, Yvonne Musarurwa and Lazarus Maengahama, among others. This is an opportunity for Zanu PF to show contrition and if they are not released, then it shows they are not reforming.
“Everyone with trumped-up charges, even those in Zanu PF must also be released. If they are not released then, as citizens, we will continue taking to the streets to demonstrate so that political activists are released.”
The three MDC-T activists are serving 20-year jail terms each for the murder of police Inspector Petros Mutedza.
Among other demands, Chidziva said they wanted a free and fair election to avoid a disputed outcome that would plunge the country into further political turmoil.
Concerned Citizens Support Network of Zimbabwe (CCSNZ), which together with others planned yesterday’s gathering addressed by MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai and Transform Zimbabwe leader Jacob Ngarivhume said all the desired electoral reforms should be implemented as soon as possible.
“Personal benefit approach will not be accepted by citizens. We stand with what is right and what give citizens hope and freedom so that we go into a free and fair election.
We want a clear roadmap of how the military will honour the constitutionality in future and respect a democratically elected government. We are cognisant of that fact that there are political prisoners who deserve freedom as well,” CCSNZ representative Assan Mtembo said.
Tendai Masunda from CCSNZ said there was need to create space for youth participation in the country’s development unlike what transpired during Mugabe’s era. Newsday