Protesters loot Red Café

HARARE - Red Café, a night spot in downtown Harare, fell victim to vandalism this week as political violence flared in the city on Wednesday between protesters and security agencies.

A spokesperson for the venue which offers arts-related showcases and musicals said while they had closed shop, the hooligans broke through the transparent windows and looted beer. “We lost beer and whiskey bottles worth thousands of dollars as protestors broke windows and raided all our stocks.

“Since then we have been closed and we will continue to monitor the situation.”

Red Café is not the only club affected by the disturbances as several other outlets have been forced to close while musicians cancelled concerts.

The resultant violence has seen most restaurants in the city shut for business with many saying they were still studying the situation.

With the police and soldiers patrolling the city since the violence outbreak, most Zimbabweans have stayed at home, hence shunning bars.

In the ghettos — Kuwadzana, Glen Norah, Glen View, Mbare, and in Chitungwiza among other areas — security agents are reportedly harassing people at bars and beerhalls, a situation that has forced many to retreat to their homes. They have also been terrorising people seen around out at night.

Congolese rhumba star Koffi Olomide was forced to postponed his Friday concert set for Harare International Conference Centre because of the environment’s uncertainty. Most of the entertainment places have decided to close shop until next week.

Alliance Française de Harare, a cultural hub for live performances said in a tweet. “Chers amis: the Alliance Française de Harare will be closed from Thursday August 2 to Monday August 6. Further communication will be posted on Monday. Thank you for your understanding.”

Apart from bars and night clubs, several other businesses, particularly in the central business district have remained closed.

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