By Costa Nkomo
THE MDC Friday claimed 80 of its followers were arrested by police in different parts of Harare in the wake of a foiled anti-government protest that had been organised by the main opposition for central Harare.
Addressing the media in Harare Friday, Chamisa slammed President Emmerson Mnangagwa, describing the Zanu PF leader as a worse off dictator than former President Robert Mugabe.
This is after anti-riot police savaged hordes of MDC supporters who defiantly went against a police ban on a party demonstration the popular opposition had called for Harare’s CBD.
Said Chamisa, “We have had over 80 people arrested, 20 in Kambuzuma (suburb), about 20 at Cocacola, 15 St Marys (suburb), we also had about 20 from Norton, but the number is still increasing because we are recording the information as it is coming.”
Reached for comment, police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi could neither confirm nor deny the claims saying his office was still in the process of compiling a statement which will address what obtained in the capital Friday.
“We are issuing a statement very soon and everything will be addressed in that statement,” Nyathi said before hanging up.
Apart from the arrests, Chamisa expressed displeasure at the number of cases of assaults some protesters suffered in the hands of the police.
“We have also received reports of some seven serious assaults particularly on account of brutality of the police especially in the city centre.
“Of those cases that were recorded, one of them is very severe; a woman whose circumstances we are not very clear about because she was severely assaulted and we don’t know if she is still ok because she was taken away by the police through the Red Cross and we are still to ascertain her condition.”
The 41-year-old opposition leader further bemoaned an alleged increase in abductions on party activists and some members of the civil society ahead of the demonstration.
“We also received cases of abductions since Tuesday. In fact, 10 of them were recorded on Tuesday, 4 on Wednesday, then 4 last night making it a total of 18.
“That tells the magnitude of the challenges that we are facing particularly when one looks at the police brutality.”
One of the activists, Tatenda Mombeyarara was abducted from his home in Chitungwiza on Tuesday night by suspected state agents who assaulted and left him for dead.
He is currently battling for life at a local hospital in the capital.