Zanu PF Hooligans Disrupt Parliamentary Programme
17 May 2024
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By A Correspondent

A scheduled Parliamentary public hearing on the Private Voluntary Organisation Amendment Bill descended into chaos as Zanu PF hooligans disrupted proceedings at the Civic Centre in Masvingo yesterday (Thursday).

The unruly behaviour of the individuals has raised serious concerns about the state of public discourse and the safety of civic engagement in Zimbabwe.

Witnesses described a scene of disorder as visibly drunk youths, identified as Zanu PF supporters, stormed the hearing.

They shouted insults at parliamentarians and physically attacked members of civil society and opposition supporters who had gathered to participate in the consultations.

One eyewitness, who wished to remain anonymous, recounted the mayhem: “It was absolute chaos.

These youths were out of control, yelling obscenities and physically intimidating anyone who didn’t align with their views. It was clear they had one objective – to derail the hearing.”

Another attendee, a member of a local NGO, condemned the intimidation tactics used by the hooligans: “They were aggressive and menacing, making it impossible for a constructive discussion to take place. This is a serious blow to democracy and the freedom to express dissenting opinions.”

The hearing was intended to gather public input on the controversial amendment bill, which aims to regulate the operations of private voluntary organizations in Zimbabwe.

Critics argue that the bill is a thinly veiled attempt by the government to stifle civil society and clamp down on dissent.

A political observer present at the hearing, who chose to remain unnamed for safety reasons, condemned the violence: “This is not how democratic processes should unfold. We are here to listen to the people, but it is impossible to do so under such hostile conditions. This kind of behavior undermines the very foundation of our democracy.”

Members of the opposition also expressed their outrage.

“This orchestrated disruption is a clear tactic by Zanu PF to silence critical voices and impede democratic engagement,” said one opposition leader.

“We demand that the perpetrators be held accountable and that future hearings be protected from such intimidation.”

The disruption of this parliamentary public hearing by Zanu PF hooligans is a troubling indicator of the challenges facing democratic processes in Zimbabwe.

As the nation grapples with issues of governance and civil liberties, the need for open and safe public discourse remains paramount.