Police, protestors clash in Bulawayo

BULAWAYO - Police bashed and arrested Bulawayo Youths Arise (Buya) members who were protesting against President Robert Mugabe’s failed 36-year leadership and rising unemployment yesterday.

Seven people — Buya spokesperson Alfred Dzirutwe, Mthokozisi Ncube, Plaxedis Denge, Lwandlolubanzi Ndebele, Hampton Maphosa and Lenny Kuzwarira and freelance photojournalist Crispen Ndlovu — were arrested following the violent clashes.

Skirmishes started after riot police blocked the Large City Hall car park — which was supposed to be the protest’s starting point — with water cannons and armoured vehicles.

Riot police try to subdue a protestor.

In a show of courage, the youths resolved to stage their protest right before the police, prompting the law enforcers to pounce on them.

In the process, Dzirutwe was roughed up and brutally assaulted by about 10 officers, before they forcibly bundled him into their waiting van.

Ndlovu was arrested for taking pictures of the scene.

Dzirutwe, Ndlovu and others were then taken to the Bulawayo Central Police Station.

Tineyi Mukwewa, from Abameli Lawyers for Human Rights, who attended to the arrested, confirmed that Dzirutwe and Ncube needed urgent medical attention and that they were trying to secure their release.

“ . . . there are five individual that are in police custody, four males and one female who is disabled. Two of them are badly injured and in need of medical attention,” he said.

“The officer-in-charge has run out of the office. He has claimed that he needs to get clearance from Harare to hear whether he can get clearance to remove them from custody or not but those can also be delaying tactics. Right now, we are still trying to get medical assistance for the two,” Mukwewa said.

Concerning freelance journalist Ndlovu, Mukwewa said. “The lawyers are seating there to make sure that nothing is deleted from the camera”.

Police national spokesperson Charity Charamba confirmed the development but said “six people were arrested . . . while they were waving placards. There were issues with the route so they were taken for verification and then were released”.

Zapu youth leader Iphithule Maphosa said most of their members pulled out of the demo on the last minute.

“. . . some of my members were not in agreement with the demands that were being raised by Buya so they ended up boycotting,” Maphosa said, adding that “we however, condemn the police brutality displayed to the peaceful demonstrators who were just registering their displeasure with the government.”

Comments (4)

No amount of brutality will stop the concerns of people. These are the last kicks of a dying rogue regime.

X-MAN IV - 1 September 2016

Surely, no human force will stop the winds of change .Police shouid stop these daily brutalities.

MATINYANYA - 1 September 2016

Is this the same Mukaronda who is running Eland School in Mabelreign?

Sir Weak Nail - 2 September 2016

Remove all policemen from logging in your houses,as they want to rip were they did not soar,evry demo improves evry one s life including the police.I remember when Edgar Tekere got independence the first step was to execute the person who custrated a number of officials ,I was his escot when he went to court,the same thing will happen,I can forese it.Demo rinokangamwa asi muti watemwa haukangamwi.

chengetanayi - 2 September 2016

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