Harare (Agenzia Fides) - Police used batons and fired tear gas against demonstrators who were preparing to attend today, August 26, a protest march in Harare, Zimbabwe's capital. The police’s intervention took place before the Supreme Court’s ruling that declared the march legitimate, organized by 18 political parties and social organizations. Among the opposition leaders there is Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). The demonstration was announced to protest against the Independent Electoral Commission, accused of being conditioned by President Robert Mugabe, and to demand that the 2018 elections are supervised by international observers.
The Supreme Court authorized the demonstration that should therefore be held from 12 to 4pm, local time. This is the first public demonstration with the participation of all groups of opposition hitherto rather divided. Divisions that also appear in the presidential field, given the participation in the demonstration of his former Vice President Joice Mujuru, who leads an inner frond to Mugabe's party.
The political and social protest in Zimbabwe is increasingly linked to the use of social media to organize street demonstrations and other forms of revolt. The protest movement "virtual" #ThisFlag of Protestant pastor Evan Mawarire, is the best known among those who use social media (see Fides 12/07/2016). About two-thirds of the inhabitants of the Country are young, born after 1980. Young people are accustomed to the use of smartphones and have no memory of the liberation struggle led by ZANU-PF, the party of the 92-year-old Mugabe, remaining largely indifferent to the rhetoric of the "Father of the Nation", whose policy in the last 15 years has caused an economic and social collapse. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 26/08/2016)