Police, demonstrators clash

HARARE - Riot police yesterday clashed with Tajamuka members who were marching to Parliament in protest against the State’s interference with the judiciary.

This is on the back of President Robert Mugabe launching a blistering attack on the country’s judiciary last week after the High Court allowed 18 opposition political parties that are calling for electoral reforms to protest.

The protesters — waving banners that read #ZimbabweYadzoka (Zimbabwe is back) and #Hatichada #Hatichatya (we don’t want anymore, we don’t fear anymore) — were teargassed and dispersed by police as they advanced towards the august House.

Amid the skirmish, some protesters retaliated by throwing stones at the riot police.

The clash came barely 48 hours after the High Court declared Statutory Instrument (SI) 101 A of 2016, which banned protests in Harare for two weeks, unconstitutional and interdicted the police from interfering with the citizens’ right to demonstrate.

But yesterday, the Tajamuka protesters seemed determined to use the window to express their views against Mugabe’s apparent interference with the judiciary, which is supposed to be autonomous.

Eyewitnesses said matters came to a head when the handful of protesters took to the streets without police notification — a tool used by Zimbabwe’s law enforcement agents to determine whether or not people can be allowed — to exercise their constitutional right to demonstrate.

“The guys from Tajamuka got together at the corner of Julius Nyerere and Jason Moyo where they sang while walking up Nelson Mandela towards Parliament,” an eyewitness said.

“They were stopped by police who ordered them to go back. They seemed to want to keep the peace, but a second batch of police arrived in a truck and fired tear-gas several times.”

Police continued to maintain a heavy presence around Parliament building.

Comments (2)

Demonstrations will continue until they run out of the little teargas they have in stock. These thieves will not win a war against citizens.

Lunkneed Jije - 11 September 2016

I have a suggestion - how about civilians taking photos of ALL cops in the CBD and we share these on social networks. We need to identify the enemy at an individual level.

Sagitarr - 11 September 2016

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