The violent clashes in Chitungwiza, which started with a nasty confrontation between Zanu PF youths and touts, has escalated, with residents currently besieging some part of the town allegedly to resist what they term ‘random attacks by police’
Earlier, police who had been deployed to the town to deal with the touts-Zanu PF youths clash reportedly ended up randomly beating up innocent residents.
Our Correspondent, Moses Matenga reports that some residents, armed with stones, are blocking the road near Huruyadzo shops, threatening to beat up the police.
SOme of the residents allege that the clashes, which started this morning, have resulted in some fatalities, but NewsDay has not been able to confirm the reports as yet.
Extra police troops have been reportedly deployed from Harare and more than ten truckloads of anti-riot police have been seen in Chitungwiza.
4:11 p.m. Reports indicate that police are now rounding up some residents who were taking part in the siege.
Read below our earlier update on the clashes.
Touts in Chitungwiza on Tuesday morning organised a halt of all commuter omnibuses plying the Harare-Chitungwiza route in protest against the recently introduced hefty traffic fines and the alleged police corruption, but Zanu PF youths allegedly attempted to stop the protest, leading to bloody clashes in the town.
NewsDay’s Moses Matenga is in Chitungwiza, giving updates of events as they unfold.
As the clashes ensued in the morning, police were reportedly outnumbered, leaving the battle being prominently between the Zanu PF youths and touts who were throwing stones at each other.
Matenga reports that Zanu PF youths had to ferry stones in a vehicle.
A back up police troop was brought in and used teargas to block the Zanu PF youths, leading to the clashes subsiding.
“We are now driving around Chitungwiza and stones are littered all over, blocking the roads,” reports Matenga
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Witnesses told NewsDay the clashes that took place early morning were so nasty that no commuter omnibuses were travelling and stranded commuters had to walk a distance from the main metropolitan area to hike for lifts.
Another witness said he saw people pelting stones at a commuter omnibus whose operator allegedly tried to defy the protest.
In Chitungwiza, our correspondent reports that police have managed to restore calm in the town.
Zanu PF youths and touts have been dismissed by use of teargas and the town council offices are now closed as police continue monitor the situation