MDC Demo: Police arrest 91, report no deaths

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By Staff Reporter

POLICE on Friday arrested 91 suspected MDC supporters who defied a ban on a party demonstration the main opposition had organised for central Harare on the same day.

Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said in a statement Friday that the 91 were arrested for various offences arising from the illegal demonstration.

“Some of the youths went on to engage in confrontational acts which included threats, intimidation and disruption of the smooth flow of traffic in the CBD. The police moved in and dispersed the unlawful gathering. In the process, 91 people were arrested for various offences in Chitungwiza, Harare central business district and Harare South,” said Asst Comm Nyathi.

Police said there were no deaths recorded as a result of the skirmishes.

The official number of those arrested is not too far from the MDC’s approximation of 80 party followers party leader Nelson Chamisa had said were arrested in Chitungwiza, Harare and Norton Friday.

Following the ban on the protest and a subsequent upholding of the embargo by the High Court, agitated MDC supporters went ahead with the demonstration, inviting a brutal reaction from anti-riot police.

Scenes of protesters being savaged by police circulated on social media Friday, spotlighting on President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s commitment, or lack of, to leading the country out of its bitter past under former President Robert Mugabe.

At a press briefing Friday afternoon, Chamisa described Mnangagwa as a cruel and worse off dictator than his predecessor.