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Zimbabwe police launch blitz on protesters

by Staff reporter
22 Feb 2020 at 16:48hrs | Views
THE Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) arrested 34 suspects on Thursday night as part of a crackdown on MDC youths who participated in a flash demonstration in Harare on Wednesday.

According to the suspects' lawyer, Obey Shava, most of the suspects were arrested at around 5pm on Thursday and released at 10pm the same day after the police failed to identify the suspects in videos recorded during the protests.

The police, however, detained activist Makomborero Haruzivishe, who was charged for allegedly participating in the unsanctioned gathering and is expected to appear in court today.

"I confirm the arrest of 34 suspects, but all the others were released except for Makomborero Haruzivishe, who has been charged and is set to appear in court tomorrow (today). The police just rounded up people along Luck Street in Harare, including a bar attendant. The people had nothing to do with the demonstrations," Shava said.

The flash demonstration, which took the public and authorities by surprise, came hours after MDC leader Nelson Chamisa had addressed a press conference in Harare, where he indicated that he was ready to confront President Emmerson Mnangagwa's government on the streets. Chamisa, who is fresh from touring the party's provincial structures, told journalists on Wednesday that people were angry and ready to confront Mnangagwa's government on the streets over the deteriorating economic situation in the country.

The party's deputy national spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka yesterday posted on micro-blogging site Twitter, reiterating Chamisa's statement that they will not notify the police on any future demonstrations.

"There will be no warning and no notice. We have since drawn the line in the sand. There will be more flash demos and we will not comply with undemocratic requirements. Hunger and joblessness do not give notice. #thepeople'sgovernment," Tamborinyoka said.

The party's decision to conduct flash demonstrations, came after previous bids to seek permission from the police to protest were turned down on numerous occasions.

The MDC, which is the country's largest opposition political party, has been seeking to push the government to observe human rights, implement electoral and economic reforms.

Both Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe and the police have since warned that they will thwart any unsanctioned protests by the MDC meant to push Mnangagwa out of power.

"The law enforcement agents in our country have the capacity to deal with any illegal disturbances. The police have a constitutional mandate to protect the peace-loving people of Zimbabwe as well as their properties," said Kazembe.

Source - dailynews

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