By Hope Sarara
EIGHT people were arrested, and charged with disorderly conduct, five were injured, one with a broken leg and another left with a gushing open wound on the head after baton wielding police descended on the opposition MDC headquarters in central Harare to disrupt party leader Nelson Chamisa’s statement code named “Hope of the Nation” on Wednesday.
Harare turned into a war-zone as hundreds of MDC supporters clashed with anti-riot police while ordinary people going about their business were caught in the mayhem as authorities wantonly used brute force bring Zimbabwe’s tattered human rights record once again into sharp international focus.
An elderly man was caught up and left bleeding from the head with a gaping wound, while an elderly woman’s audacity to question a young officer’s humanity served her blushes.
MDC leader Chamisa was later to address hi party’s leadership describing President Emmerson Mnangagwa as the “merchant and power” behind former President Robert Mugabe’s near-four-decade dictatorship.
“Mnangagwa has scaled new levels of dictatorship. He has literally shown that he was the man behind the dictatorship we have seen in this country. Mugabe was a baby when compared to Mnangagwa,” said Chimisa.
He added that he had been shocked by the conduct of the police.
“I was shocked to see the behaviour and conduct of the police.I don’t believe these are police officers. These are just people given uniform and masquerading as police. Their conduct does not reflect claims that they have been trained in human rights.
“We are under a rogue regime,” said the youthful politician.
Combative MDC vice president Tendai Biti said the violent clampdown was “a typical Mnangagwa move.”
“We say no to Fascism, we say no to madness, SADC must be watching this, Mrs. Tax must be watching, (South African) President Cyril Ramaphosa must be watching this,” said Biti.
“We do not want this nonsense. This is a typical Mnangagwa move.”
Teargas billowed and business was disrupted as police sought to clear the area around the MDC headquarters. Government has denied the MDC request for demonstrations or protests claiming these would descend into violence.