Mangwana defends police attacks on MDC supporters

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By Leopold Munhende

INFORMATION Ministry Secretary Nick Mangwana has defended Wednesday’s brutal crackdown on MDC supporters by police as they assembled outside the main opposition’s Harare headquarters for their leader, Nelson Chamisa’s Hope of the Nation Address (HONA).

Images of anti-riot police savaging MDC supporters in central Harare went viral on social media, drawing wide condemnation from Western governments.

But Mangwana felt the police did all they could to deal with a stubborn MDC crowd that was refusing to take orders from law enforcement agents.

“MDC was asked to move its programme to the Showgrounds, but they insisted on holding it in the streets of Harare outside its headquarters,” Mangwana said.

“They were told not to obstruct roads and get in (party headquarters) but again resisted. If the police had not moved them, there was going to be chaos.

“Shops and banks were closed because of their actions. You (journalists) saw that, you were there.

“Such obstruction of business and lawlessness is what will dent the image of our country.”

Dozens were left wounded when police beat up the MDC supporters.

Elderly citizens, passersby were also not spared the beating by angry police.

Mangwana said events in Harare were not new in the entire world.

“You know the chaos in Hong Kong has seen it go into recession, we would not want that,” he said.