More than a thousand youth supporters of President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party took to the streets of Harare on Wednesday demanding the immediate lifting of Western sanctions against Mr. Mugabe and other top party officials, and the closure of so-called pirate radio stations broadcasting to the country.
VOA Studio 7 Harare correspondent Irwin Chifera reported on the at-times-violent demonstration.
Political analyst Samukele Hadebe told VOA Studio 7 reporter Ntungamili Nkomo that such protests won’t impress the international community.
Elsewhere, ZANU-PF and the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai were trading accusations after clashes between supporters of the two parties in the Harare suburb of Epworth on Sunday.
The MDC says a rally it held at Epworth High School on constitutional reform was disrupted by ZANU-PF militants. The party said attacks against its members have been on the rise in the past several weeks.
MDC officials said ZANU-PF’s losing candidate for the Epworth parliamentary seat in the 2008 election, Amos Midzi, transported and armed the attackers. ZANU-PF dismissed this as MDC propaganda.
Both parties said injured activists were treated in Parirenyatwa Hospital. The MDC said 70 people were injured. ZANU-PF said 60 MDC youths were responsible for the attack and damaged a ZANU-PF Mazda twin-cab truck during the incident.
MDC Harare spokesman Willas Madzimure said it was clear that ZANU-PF organized the attack as it had no scheduled events in the area at the time.
VOA could not reach Midzi, but he told the state-controlled Herald newspaper that the episode "dampened the ongoing national healing and reconciliation efforts.”