6 feared dead

AT least six people were feared dead last night, while several others sustained gunshot injuries after soldiers and police in Harare used brute force to suppress MDC Alliance activists protesting against alleged electoral theft of their vote by Zanu PF and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec).

BY OBEY MANAYITI

The city centre resembled a war zone, as soldiers drove in their armoured vehicles and indiscriminately fired live ammunition at anyone they found in the central business district, with several passersby caught in the cross fire.

While police confirmed that three people died, witnesses claimed at least six people were shot dead.

“We express our condolences to the bereaved. We are currently investigating circumstances surrounding the deaths,” national police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said.

Protesters had gathered in the morning at Richard Morgan Tsvangirai House in Harare’s CBD in what they described as “protecting their vote”.
They vowed not to leave the streets until Zec addressed their issues.

However, police responded by bringing armoured trucks, including water cannons and that parked outside the MDC-T party headquarters, much to the disappointment of the protesters who challengingly started to march towards the Zec headquarters, Zanu PF headquarters and Rainbow Towers Hotel, where results were being announced.

Along the way, the protesters sang and danced, claiming they were protecting MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa’s alleged victory.

They queried the high votes that Zanu PF got in rural areas.

Trouble started after police blocked them from entering Rainbow Towers Hotel, used by Zec as their base to announce the results.
The protesters then retreated and started throwing missiles at the Zanu PF headquarters, damaging several vehicles in the parking area before police fired gunshots and teargas canisters to disperse the crowd, leading to fierce running battles.

In the process, the protestors barricaded some roads with boulders, burning tyres and stoning some buildings as police, who apparently appeared outnumbered, called for reinforcement from the military.

Military tanks rolled into the city centre, with helicopters hovering over, leading to fatal clashes, as they sealed off the MDC-T and MDC Alliance headquarters.
Charamba confirmed that the police decided to engage the military allegedly due to the magnitude of the protests.

“The Commissioner-General of Police (Godwin Matanga) has invoked the provisions of section 37 (1) of the Public Order and Security Act chapter 11:17 and approached the minister of Home Affairs and Culture to request for the assistance of the defence forces for the suppression of the commotion and disturbances in Harare central business district,” Charamba said.

She singled out MDC-T youth leader Happymore Chidziva and MDC Alliance principal Tendai Biti as having organised the protests.

“The ZDF, however, remain under the command and supervision of the Commissioner-General of Police. This development has been necessitated by the fact that the degree of disturbances of law and order have reached a magnitude where our regular police officers, as well as our reserve members, have been unable to cope with this situation. We are urging members of the public to remain calm, refrain from violence and also respect the rule of law in the country,” Charamba said.

“We are fully aware of the inciters, the perpetrators of this violence, they will have themselves to blame when the law is applied,” Charamba added.
But MDC-T chairman Morgen Komichi said the opposition was not behind the protests.

“This is a spontaneous reaction of the people of Zimbabwe to a flawed election that has just taken place,” he said.

“People seem so express that something has gone wrong, they seem to feel that the outcome of elections being announced by Zec does not resonate with the sentiments of the people on the ground. Figures that are coming out are not the true picture that people are expressing.

“People are saying how can we vote for poverty that has plagued us for 38 years? How can we vote for unemployment that is now in the range of 96%? Instead of being brutal, callous by bringing the army in the street, the government must engage the people.”

Zanu PF Harare provincial chairman Godwills Masimirembwa claimed Zanu PF property, including vehicles and a bus, were damaged and party employees injured.
“This situation in town, you must remember it was fomented by none other than Nelson Chamisa because during his campaign trail he said if he loses elections, he will make sure that this country is ungovernable. He threatened to shut down Harare,” Masimirembwa said.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa also blamed the MDC Alliance leadership for the disturbances.

“We hold the opposition MDC Alliance and its whole leadership responsible for this disturbance of national peace, which was meant to disrupt the electoral process. Equally, we hold the party and its leadership responsible for any loss of life, injury or damage of property that arise from these acts of political violence which they have aided and abetted,” Mnangagwa said in an impromptu address to the nation last night.

Mnangagwa ordered the MDC Alliance leadership to remove its violent supporters from the streets.

“In asking them to take this necessary step, government is simply reminding them of their duties as responsible political players, and as citizens.”

The Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) condemned the deployment of armed soldiers.

“The soldiers have been firing live ammunition on fleeing civilians in the crowded streets with some of the injured and dead being shot in the back, including women,” ZimRights said.

The human rights body pleaded with Sadc and the African Union to intervene.

The United States Embassy in Harare also condemned the violence, calling on all political parties to respect peace.

“We urge leaders of all parties to call for calm from members of their respective parties. We further urge the Defence Forces of Zimbabwe to use restraint in dispersing protestors,” the embassy said in a statement yesterday.

“Zimbabwe has an historic opportunity to move the country towards a brighter future for all its citizens. Violence cannot be a part of that process.”

The United Nations also issued a statement last night calling on Zimbabwean political leaders to exercise restraint and reject all forms of violence.

59 Comments

  1. Its an absolute disgrace.
    MDC supporters illustrated their lack of consideration for others property and the rights of law abiding citizens.

    To those who state the army should not have been called I ask.
    1.Our police were outnumbered.
    2. MDC demonstrators refuse to obey police commands.
    3. the law states there should be no demonstrations during and after polling.
    4. two police details have been murdered in the past by violent MDC supporters.
    5. property had been damaged and destroyed.
    Outnumbered police had no option but to call in the army.

    To the stupid who say the army should not have been called in I ask how would they stop irresponsible violent youths from destruction and violence.

    To the MDC they have a responsibility to control their supporters not to call them into town and fill their heads with unsubstantiated claims, its called incitement to violence,

    1. please post pictures of property destroyed

    2. Comment…you are seek at the head, go n join your team mates at engutsheni. izanu losathani bayo sikuphambanise ingqondo, kudala liqila kuma elections ngoba manje selibanjiwe sucala abantu abazama ukumela ivote labo. uyafana labakhokheli bakho

    3. you clearly do not live in the Zimbabwe we all live in…. and you haven’t lost a loved one to such senseless violence… otherwise “property” would be the least of your worries!

  2. This is total disgraceful.
    The question which was asked again and again by foreign reporters is were where the leaders of the opposition whilst all this was happening as the povo must not accept to be used whilst the leaders are in the comfort of their homes or in hiding places.
    MDC leaders are fully accountable and its very sad to have contestants who refuse to accept results of a match were you do not have proof of match rigging.
    The army was justified as i watched this live on enca from start to finish and there was no other option as the people were spoiling for a fight since morning and these were the disastrous results late in the afternoon.

    1. Retius Chifurira

      What about if the protest was not called for by anyone. People might have just realized that their only hope is gone. Elections are not the only solution to a political problem. Ask Mugabe and Mnangangwa they know better. Having lost trust in elections and policies of Ian Smith, no one organised them to go to Mozambique and Zambia to take up arms against Ian Smith. The youth are fed up with policies of Zanu PF. They are living in poverty, they are tired of lies and lies. Some of them are well educated and unemployed and their only hope was this election. They have lost hope in any democratic system of changing their lives, they resort to protest. The government should engage them not kill them. The army should never be allowed to interfer with politics. Just 8 months ago the same people allowed the same people to protest in the streets and today they cant. These are double standards. ED benefited from a protest and surely he must be the last one to condemn protest especially in Harare. We need leaders who are principled. He taught our youth that if you do not want a president go onto the streets and the army will protect you. Where was the army???? It came and instead of siding with the people as they did 8 months ago, Oh it came and butchered innocent civilians. They crime is the need of a better Zimbabwe for all.

      1. The Smith government was not recognized by the United Nations and so the Zipra and Zanla guerrillas had a legitimate reason to fight that government. But when you incite people to pick up arms and fight a government recognized by the UN, that becomes terrorism. The youth you pretend to be speaking for are not terrorists, and they are waiting for the outcome of the presidential elections, so that they can take advantage of the opportunities that will certainly come. Also, urban people think they are so smart that they speak for the rural communities, but in fact rural communities have brains of their own. It is sad that lives were lost in yesterday’s disturbances, but Chamisa should reign in his hooligans, instead of inciting violence. As for Biti, he is excited that he has finally found some sort of political home, after living in the wilderness because he has no supporters at all. However, by trying to impress Chamisa and other MDC people, Biti is overdoing it, and he ends up making a complete idiot of himself. If people have a problem with the election process, they can challenge ZEC in the courts. Margaret Dongo did it and succeeded in 1995. She had been beaten by Vivian Mwashita, but she argued in court and secured a re-run, which she won. So don’t be blinded by those who try to convince you that the law doesn’t work. My point is not about the elections being fair or unfair, but my point is that you don’t get your complaint addressed by burning buses and stoning vendors and security forces.

      2. With all due respect should they not be responsible enough to engage the government instead of resorting to thuggery and terrorism to fellow citizens as well as disrespect for the law? It is sad when people die so carelessly for leaders that will never even acknowledge their support.

      3. All this does not explain the reason why hooligan mdcs supporters went on the rampage and the truth will come out as one school of thought talks through a well orchestrated to try and disrupt the future prospects of the incoming leader from getting aid and acceptance from the international community but i think there got it horribly wrong and it only signals the end of their political party as all the blame world wide is now on their door step as it happened in the full glare of cameras.

  3. Your Name (required):Special Black

    Its an unfortunate situation to lose life because of these inciters , chamisa, biti, chidziva, g40 and others who thought people would not vote for ZANU PF. MDCA supporters should know that we also voted for our parties. which votes are they protecting? If your votes are 7 they won’t increase becoz you protected them. the truth is you ran short of voters. your leaders had promised violence if they lose. now fm today onwards all mdca alliance leaders these are your surnames amin, savimbi, dhlakama, suddam.

  4. Legal proceedings should begin against those who have incited violence in this election processs

  5. Since when has shooting live ammunition been the solution. The above comments are from government sympathizers. Others want to rule and plunder for eternity. People are frustrated. We don’t eat ideology and not everyone wants to be a vendor. We are doomed with this useless bunch of thieves and old horses who only know how to line their and their supporter’s who benefit from pillage. We want a working economy and Zanu will never provide it

  6. All the above commentators are Zanu apologists. They benefit from the current state of affairs. Carry on looting and plundering because that’s all they know

    1. You are sick. Unorwara. We all went to vote for new leaders. An election always has 2 outcomes. Win or Lose. But according to you and Chamisa and his lunatics this particular election should have had only 1 outcome. A win for MDC. That stance is wrong, irresponsible and has no place in Zimbabwe or anywhere else. In your desperation, you even stooped so low as to embrace Grace Mugabe whom we all removed from power. Now you are surprised that voters kicked you in the face. Ko isu vakavhotera ZANU takadawo ku demonstrator to protect our vote panobuda chakanaka here.

      Vanhu ve MDC majaira. Munozvinyepera kuti ED neZANU havana support. Manje takakumirirai. Makajaidzwa sitereki. The majority voted ZANU PF. Live with it. This time hamulume. Saka maida kuti vanhu vavhotere tsvina yenyu iyoyi yaingoita basa rekutukirira vanhu kunge Grace Mugabe. Hakuna zvakadaro.

      Mapurisa batai vanhu mukande kuseri vozodzoka muna 2030 nyika iiendere mberi. Musambotya you have our support. Takashungurudzwa naMugabe zvakakwana. Tiri kutochembera izvozvi. Tinosvika rinhi tichingoita politics economy yedu ichi suffer.

      VaMnangagwa kana zvakatsvuka sei Chamisa naBiti hatidi kuvaone mu government yedu. Vamwe vese mungatora zvenyu asi tsvina idzi kwete. Tozviziva kuti mune tsitsi asi apa bodo. Makangovatora nemiwo munovatevera. The people spoke. hatidi kuvaone pedyo ne power.

      1. How come during RGMs time the army was never used even though Tsvangirai and his MDC would hold demos during election period? Are you saying we have fewer police now than we dd during RGM time? When you say outnumbered i dont know what you mean because the protesters numbered about 200, yet we have the police support unit which is 1000 plus strong at Chikurubi HQ. They could have used police dogs and rubber bullets and teargas. In the video of the shooting one of the commanders could be seen pleading with his troops to stop shooting but they continued spraying bullets directly at the crowd. The indiscriminate beating of women who were going about their business, is that what you calm crowd control? These are your fellow Zimbabweans being murdered and you celebrate? Protests have always been there but excessive force never been used. One of the deceased, a woman was shot in the back, meaning she was fleeing, so why shoot her? Its sad….

      2. How come during RGMs time the army was never used even though Tsvangirai and his MDC would hold demos during election period? Are you saying we have fewer police now than we dd during RGM time? When you say outnumbered i dont know what you mean because the protesters numbered about 200, yet we have the police support unit which is 1000 plus strong at Chikurubi HQ. They could have used police dogs and rubber bullets and teargas. In the video of the shooting one of the commanders could be seen pleading with his troops to stop shooting but they continued spraying bullets directly at the crowd. The indiscriminate beating of women who were going about their business, is that what you calm crowd control? These are your fellow Zimbabweans being murdered and you celebrate? Protests have always been there but excessive force never been used. One of the deceased, a woman was shot in the back, meaning she was fleeing, so why shoot her? Its sad….Your own country man being butchered and you are happy

      3. thank you ndatenda zwangu

  7. Now we know who the real butcher and gukurahundi architect was, the demons in ED are manifesting themselves, it was a regrettable mistake supporting these guys in the November coup, Patrick Zhuwao was right after all

  8. dont say mdc supporters..those are zimbabweans who are tired of poverty,unemployment,cash crisis etc….

    1. Peace and Love Zimbabwe

    2. Psalm 121 vs 1-2. David said; I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. Zimbabwe turn our eyes to God for our help comes from the Lord.

  9. Comment…The use of live ammunition can not be condoned…it was callous beating and shooting at defenceless citizens. ZDF and Mnangagwa must be held accountable for the atrocities they committed in central Hre

  10. Comment…ED back to his default settings ..he will be answerable for the atrocities which were committed by the Army he sent in Hre

  11. Comment…@evangelist, mdc supporters are Zimbabweans and are subject to law and order. The same Zimbabweans celebrated the downfall of RGM on 18 November 2017 when the same army overthrew him. The same army was then armed with live ammunition, chawakadya chamuka. Mdc joined forces with the junta. RGM never used the army on the civilians. Only last Sunday, RGM warned on the so-called peaceful environment prevailing before, during and after the elections. Pasi nejunta

  12. Chamisa, as a pastor, you should know that God allows certain things to happen for a purpose. If God didn’t allow ZANU PF to win, they wouldn’t have won. What’s to be done now is to ask for God’s intervention. He says “The battle is Mine” so you cannot fight for Him. I do not condone violence though. I am with the relatives of those who lost their beloved ones through such acts while the “big fish” are busy shouting orders.

  13. people like ED have been in government for a whole 38 years getting paid every month & have several businesses & investments to live happily ever after as it is. What kind of an evil & selfish heart does it take for such a man to go on to even murder innocent people in this streets just for the sake of remaining in power just for the sake of it? Ko kungosiirawo vamwe zvinei?

  14. Where is “the people have spoken” , its only recognized when its in line with the leadership. Live ammunition is not justified whatsoever. Those who where killed were not protesters, but just civilians caught unaware.

  15. AS was the 08 & 13 elections, rigged, so the 18 elections had a planned outcome. The world wanted to hear ED’s appeal for calm, peaceful gatherings, etc, The pre election calm was a gift for ZANUPF who are desperate to show the world a clean slate. But the people know how they voted. Tragic that in desperation to show the world this wonderful polling result, the over reaction of ZANUPF and the military exposes their true intentions.
    With a 2/3 rd majority the plan would be to change the constitution to suite.
    The world at large now need to put in place more stringent Zimbabwe sanctions. The Chinese interference is an unknown factor.

    1. mayhem is mayhem anarchy is anarchy how can a sane person throw a stone to an armed soldier politicians should not incite people to cause chaos the damage caused is beyond repair loss of lives and the image of the country and maybe more sanctions as some body is suggesting when something is stolen how do you get it back

  16. Sometimes you instill force for things to happen.But truely speaking the ZDF under Charamba should not have used live ammunition on the unarmed civilians.This was totally unacceptable.Also MDC Alliance should not instil violence from the leaders themselves it shows immaturity chikoro chenyu hachizooneki udzamu hwacho.In future on marches those leaders should be on the forefront not in the comfort of their families and homes.Think of Kenya vanhu vakafa the leaders are there up today enjoying.Number inoshota ndeyedu.

  17. Sad sad and sad but the character of the so called New dispensation had to be revealed. The facade could only last so long

  18. kid marongorongo

    Fair report its not very biased for the first time.

  19. When they threw out Mugabe, i supported them. Now, with what i witnessed yesterday, all Zim soldiers are pple’s enemies. CIVILIANS SHOULD ALSO PUT THE LAW INTO THEIR HANDS AND RETALIATE. KOMBI DRIVERS SHOULD STOP GIVING FREE RIDES TO THESE SILLY SOLDIERS. LANDLORDS SHOULD TELL THEIR SOLDIER LODGERS TO VACATE THEIR HOUSES SOONER THAN LATES.
    SOLDIERS DONT THINK.

  20. When people were killed in 2008, where were you. over 200 MDC supporters were killed, houses destroyed by these same people who are now rulers. All cases of atrocities should be investigated starting from gukurahundi, Murambatsvina, 2008 mayhem and the current skirmishes.

  21. Comment…there is no difference between what happened in SA 1976 and what is has just happened in zimbabwe, the protesters are the voters who are trying to protect what they voted for. people must ask themselves why is the zdf interfering on matters against ed. those who see the killing of people as a blessing must be taken to engutsheni. bauagula emakhanda sebengenwe yizanu yaze yabaphambanisa amakhanda, sikhathele yizanu lobuqili babo, izanu iyahlala iyizanu ngeke itshintshe vele njalo akulazabuncono ezabuletha elizweni. those who blame chamisa for the incident go and join your friends engutsheni

  22. Comment…charamba is seeking for a position in government like what chienga did in November 2017

  23. People must stop blaming Chamisa or Biti & pretend as if its ever possible to use diplomacy or peaceful means with Zanupf. Those guys are just hardcore arrogant criminals period.Years of robbing civilians of their democratic rights and livelihoods will always result in a violent protest at some point. But above everything else using live ammunition against your own citizens is totally inhuman & unacceptable

  24. Zim soldiers are COWARDS!!!

  25. Your Name (required):Special Black

    You sacrificed young youths just to twist the picture of zim elections. RGM did not use army so did you want demostrators to destroy documents at zec and plunge the country into caos? You feared RGM now you are taking advatage of ED’s openness. shame on you blood suckers. we know this is part of your plan. chamisa mirira muresults. ivai vanhu kwavo nyika iyendere mberi. fundo yenyu iri questionable vakomana imi. violence its in your dna UZ makaitei? vanin’ina zvigarirei kumba musiyane neizvi.

    1. you are just like other zanu’s fans, just stop blaming chamisa for this. this zec is on the same page with the zdf they are all ed’s fans who are trying to consolidate their positions in the government

  26. WE ARE TIRED OF ZANU PF KILLING PEOPLE YEAR AFTER YEAR, TO THOSE WHO DEMONSTRATED YOU ARE OUR HEROES, KEEP UP YOUR GOOD WORK. THERE IS NO OTHER LANGUAGE THAT THE GOVERNMENT UNDERSTAND THAN RIOTING, IT IS A CURSE THAT SOME OF THE COMRADES LOST THEIR LIVES

  27. This is not surprising the MDC leader had been preaching violence all along at his rallies, at TV and every where, therefore that the outcome of wrong speech from a leader, death result. But why beat the vendors who even voted it. Harare was won by MDC meaning the majority of people in it are MDC .So why beating the?

  28. MDC JUST Accept defeat Makadyiwa kumaruzevha full stop a party of hooligans

  29. People can only take this much.Now I tell judging from what is happening,some now know that if you have the gun then you are the Boss.Civil war is brewing here like or not.The liberation was not for the fat chosen few.Those who are benefiting from the system will defend it by all they have.Imagine 8 months gone and we have money being sold in the streets.why cant we have soldiers and police arrest these money barons.Who are the money barons.Do you think the present regime will change?My foot never ever.I also participated in the liberation war.But what I see today is a gluttonous militarized junta supported by a partisan fetish bourgeoisie.People will free themselves one day

  30. if there is no rigging then why the people at manicalnds mourning for the return of zanu pf candidates

  31. Capitalistic Servant

    Choose between Destroying or building your nation, violence should be condemned in all its forms. We are ready to invest the fruits of our labour gained elsewhere into reviving the economy of our beloved Zimbabwe but confidence levels are starting to dwindle. Saddened by few people who put sons and daughters of others into the forefront while they remotely tweet irresponsibly.

  32. It is very ridiculous and ironic to hear anyone from zanupf trying to preach peace and non-violence after the thousands of graves of innocent lives to their names

  33. Albert Chigohwe

    MDC ALLIANCE has no army nor police . MDCA did not call for a meeting in town. The power lies with those who pulled the trigger

  34. pamberi nehondo matii madiii haisi kuzotongeka zimbabwe

  35. Political leaders who will be found guilty of inciting violence in this election SHOULD be barred from participating in ANY future election

  36. apo vakavhotesa mari havasati vapihwa seiko

  37. All this does not explain the reason why hooligan mdcs supporters went on the rampage and the truth will come out as one school of thought talks through a well orchestrated to try and disrupt the future prospects of the incoming leader from getting aid and acceptance from the international community but i think there got it horribly wrong and it only signals the end of their political party as all the blame world wide is now on their door step as it happened in the full glare of cameras.

  38. Shoot and ask questions later.

  39. Saka toti mu soldier wese wawawana mamisa. These malnourished soldiers must be taught a lesson. Civilians must unite.

  40. Zvima soldiers izvi ngazvimamiswe!

  41. Any president must be for Zimbabwe not for Uzumba and Chiredzi

  42. Any president must be for Zimbabwe not for Uzumba and Chiredzi

  43. People are like a mechanical spring,keep on pressing it and it becomes dangerous.We have had enough of being intimidated by those who are power hungry.May the souls of the deceased rest in Paradise.

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