Zimbabwean police bash vendors and arrest youth

HARARE — On May 15, members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police bashed vendors in the Eastgate area and arrested leaders of the Progressive Youth Movement and the Zimbabwe Youth Movement, charging them with inciting vendors to resist arrest. Some 60-80 Harare vendors have been rounded up and arrested by the state police for illegal selling of products on the black market. Massive inflation and more than 80% unemployment have created harsh conditions for those in the informal sector to make a living. The youth were charged with assaulting police and are in custody with the vendors at the central police station. The Free-Zim Youth Movement called on President Thabo Mbeki to comply with human rights legislation and demanded that the Pan African Parliament send a fact-finding mission to Zimbabwe immediately.