13 injured in political violence

7
1090

Hundreds of Zanu PF and MDC-T supporters yesterday turned Harare South into a “war zone” as they violently clashed after ruling party activists attempted to disrupt the latter’s rally in Hopley suburb, leaving scores of people
injured, two of them critically, NewsDay has established.

BY OBEY MANAYITI

For at least six hours since 9am, rival camps fought each other with stones, sticks, bricks, bows and arrows, and various other objects.

Zanu PF Harare provincial commissar Shadreck Mashayamombe said he was away attending a funeral.

“I just heard the rumour,” Mashayamombe told NewsDay.

Although, national police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said she was yet to be informed about the incident, the MDC-T claimed that 13 of its supporters were injured together with an unknown number of Zanu PF supporters.

The rally was expected to be addressed by the MDC-T provincial leadership.

Police had to use teargas to douse the flames that were stoked after Zanu PF supporters reportedly mobilised and disrupted the MDC-T rally in one of Harare’s most densely-populated suburbs dominated by the Zanu PF party.

The 13 were reportedly taken to a private hospital where two of them –a seven-year-old child and a pregnant woman were said to be in critical condition.

Hundreds of Hopley residents were also caught up in the fracas when police moved around reportedly throwing teargas canisters in the suburb to disperse the feuding camps.

When NewsDay visited the area, small groups of people wielding different kinds of weapons could be seen milling the area while armed police monitored the events.

MDC-T Harare provincial youth secretary Denford Ngadziore said: “We were preparing the venue of our provincial rally at Kazembe Primary School which was going to be addressed by the provincial leadership at around 8am today (yesterday) when Zanu PF supporters stormed the area and pulled down our flag.”

Ngadziore added: “There was resistance as we felt it was not proper for Zanu PF to come and disrupt a legal gathering which had been cleared by police. However, following a standoff, calmness finally prevailed after riot police arrived.”

He said as they were making a report to the police of the disturbances, two UD trucks and several commuter omnibuses with Zanu PF supporters from other areas arrived, re-igniting the fighting.

MDC-T Harare youth organising secretary Lovejoy Chitengu, however, accused police of “folding their hands” when Zanu PF supporters were busy causing havoc in the area.

“Zanu PF youths were indiscriminately assaulting people even those that had nothing to do with our meeting. This all happened in the presence of police who, however, chose not to act only to fire tear gasses indiscriminately at residents,” Chitengu said.

Residents in Hopley expressed disgust at yesterday’s incident saying political violence was exposing their families to unwarranted attack.

“There were all sorts of weapons from bows and arrows, catapults, bricks and stones. People retreated towards our homes and their opponents pursued them. At the end, we were caught in the cross fire,” a Hopley resident Edna Nduna said.

MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu said his party was disappointed by the disturbances.

“A group of Zanu PF thugs attacked our supporters using stones, sticks and iron bars. The Zanu PF thugs didn’t want the MDC-T to hold a rally at Hopley regardless of the fact that the rally had been authorised by the police in the usual manner,” Gutu said.

“As the MDC-T, we would like to register our extreme disappointment with the unlawful and criminal attack on our supporters by some Zanu PF thugs.”

7 COMMENTS

  1. The situation is going to be even worse as the country drifts towards a general election in 2018.The culprits in this scenario were Zanu Pf youths. why should a police sanctioned rally be disrupted?Intolerance characterise our political system in a country that boasts of a highest number of educated people in the region, if not the entire continent.

  2. How myopic are Zimbabwean youths? Instead of focusing about their future they just accept to be used by selfseeking politicians who have played their part and acquired their share by ‘all’ means leaving you exposed to the ‘dogs’? These politicians keep dangling a carrot infront of you to safeguard their wealth. You (the youth) share common problems but you can hardly see eye to eye orchestrated by divide and rule tactics. I would be the last person to praise my leader simply because he can offer me a handout but hardly performing the duty I elected him to do. They keep singing that the youth are future leaders but this future hardly comes. Unless you think outside the box and see the broader picture, the welfare of your children and future generation is at stake.

  3. As far as I am concerned I put the blame squarely on our partisan police force. How many times have they refused the MDC permission to hold rallies on the pretext that their force is stretched and they do not have enough manpower to provide security? Shouldn’t we therefore assume that when they have given their permission they have enough manpower to control the situation? My heart bleeds for my country and the sad fact is that our police have become the single biggest threat to the security of ordinary Zimbabweans either because they chose to do nothing when the situation demands otherwise or they themselves become the perpetrators of violence against unarmed civilians. Either way we are needlessly but obviously living under what could be the worst police leadership in the country’s history.

    And to the ZANUpf merchants of doom, it is very sad that they continue to be used for a bottle or two of kachasu or whatever satisfies their fancy. Just the other day Jim Kunaka was pleading with Zimbabweans to be forgiven for all his sins against the people of Zimbabwe and yet some idiots continue to do the same thing. What some mothers bring to our nation! And to the ZANUpf leadership who send these cretins on these missions do you really sleep well after such a day and what do you say you will have done for Zimbabwe? This is a family forum and I have to resist the urge to call you exactly what you are.

  4. Where are the pictures and videos for a story which sounds so big. Anyone record anything? We better start being in the habit of recording history as evidence. And streaming it in real time. Let no one say we cannot afford internet time because everyone knows we can.

  5. It really pains kuona vana ava varombo zvavo vachishandiswa nemadhara aya for nothing kurovana ? Asi nhai zanu pf hamunyari here kushandisa tuvana utwu for free like that. mapenzi evana vapfanha ava? Why kushandiswa kudaro?

  6. OBERT GUTU

    HOW WILL THE ELECTORAL LAW REFORMS MDC-T IS CALLING FOR STOP THIS LAWLESSNESS BY ZANU PF THUGS AND POLICE!?????

Comments are closed.