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Scenes From Harare As Police Beat Up Civilians

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Zimbabwe Police

Riot police have charged hundreds of protesters in Zimbabwe and fired teargas, hours after a court ruled out an attempt by the opposition to overturn a ban on a planned demonstration.

As leaders of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), the main opposition party, debated whether to call off the protest on Friday, police armed with batons and whips moved to clear streets in the centre of Harare, the capital.

The Guardian online understands that witnesses reported chaotic scenes, with many protesters beaten, at least three injured and others loaded into armoured vehicles. Police also set up a series of checkpoints to stop MDC supporters reaching the centre of Harare and blocked off the headquarters of the MDC.

Zim Demo

“People were peaceful and marched with an order. They know that we always sing during demonstrations. Why are they beating us? Is this the democracy that they always talk about? They are the ones who are violent,” Mike Nyashanu, an unemployed 27-year-old who was being treated by paramedics for a suspected broken arm, told the Guardian.

A spokesperson for Nelson Chamisa, the leader of the MDC, said the planned protest had not been called off, despite the court decision. Other protests are planned around Zimbabwe in coming days.

“The government has come out in full force. The legal decision [upholding the ban] is unconstitutional … [Chamisa] is concerned about loss of life but he believes the country will have to move forward,” Dr Nkululeko Sibanda said.

The protests come more than 18 months since Emmerson Mnangagwa took power after a military takeover ousted the veteran ruler Robert Mugabe in November 2017. Mnangagwa then went on to win a closely fought and contested election promising investment, transparency and “good days ahead” for the former British colony.

There are widespread fears that any unrest will prompt a brutal crackdown. In August last year, six people were killed by troops deployed to clear the centre of Harare after an opposition rally against alleged vote-rigging. On January, 13 died and hundreds were raped or beaten as security forces quelled unrest following a hike in fuel prices.

A statement from the Ministry of Information said officials were aware of “an incident where an unidentified woman was injured during … when the police tried to disperse an illegal demonstration”.

“The woman was taken to hospital and efforts are underway to establish her condition,” it said.

You might also like… Linda Masarira Speaks On HIV Scandal

Controversial politician Linda Masarira-Kaingidza says she will not lose sleep over pictures and chats being posted on social media about her husband Gilbert Kaingidza.

Kaingidza is being accused of deliberately spreading HIV to various women. Linda said she was not moved by the story.

“Whatever happened in the past is past. We cannot judge someone by what he did some years ago because I was not there in the past; and why would someone bring 2014 issues into 2019?

Linda Masarira

“It’s obvious that it is someone with sour grapes and has some agenda with my husband.

“If they think that it will affect me or break me up with my husband, they should forget and smile because nothing will separate me and my hubby. read more…

Source – The Guardian

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