By Kudakwashe Vhenge
A town hall meeting that was held on Thursday at St Mary’s Hall in Chitungwiza ended abruptly after scores of seemingly hired political militia stormed the venue making the environment difficult for political debate to continue.
The young militias whom this publication established had come from Mbare soon took off in a fleet of cars and a commuter omnibus together with the ZANU PF youth secretary for administration Tendai Chirau who was a panelist at the event.
The visibly agitated youths entered the hall towards the end of proceedings and started interjecting as MDC panelists were responding to a questions from the audience, forcing the moderator Coezzette Chirinda to abruptly call an end to the meeting .
The MDC Youth Chairperson Obey Sithole and town Mayor Lovemore Maiko were whiskered out of the venue and vanquished into thin air in what other observers described as “guerrilla survival tactic”.
The event which was organized by Youth Forum (YF) together with the Young Journalists Association (YOJA) had the purpose of providing the youths with a platform to discuss political and economic issues affecting them and the country at large.
The topic for Thursday’s discussion was “Sanctions or Corruption what has destroyed the country’s economy?’
The topic saw divergent views over the root cause of the country’s economic turmoil; with the MDC youth leader and town Mayor citing corruption whilst ZANU PF Youth secretary was adamant that sanctions are bleeding the country’s economy most.
Tendai Chirau argued that companies placed under sanctions as a result of ZIDERA are the backbone of the country’s economy therefore sanctions are to blame most.
“Sanctions have destroyed our economy at large after the United States enacted a law under ZIDERA which states that government industries will be placed on sanctions, the companies placed on sanctions were the major backbone of our country,” said Chirau.
He however admitted that corruption was in existence and said the youth league is complementing government efforts to curb the rot.
“Corruption is everywhere in the country in the government and the society. Even the civil societies have been implicated stealing funds meant to assist vulnerable communities, “he added.
Chitungwiza Mayor Lovemore Maiko did not share the same sentiments as he said corruption was the cancer killing the economy.
“The sanctions are targeting individuals and not every citizen.
“Remember during Ian Smith’s era, the country had a very strong economy but was under sanctions, “said Maiko.
MDC Youth league chairperson Obey Sithole concurred with Maiko as he reiterated that sanctions were only a scapegoat of corruption and bad governance.
“The government has chased away more than 200 doctors who have complained of incapacitation instead of addressing the issue at hand, this clearly shows that the country is not their priority but self-gain.