Harare Violence : Death toll rises, 26 arrested
3 August 2018
THREE more people died at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals bringing to six the number of deaths caused by the MDC Alliance-induced violent protests in Harare CBD.
Fourteen more people were injured following the incidents where MDC supporters torched vehicles, stoned shops and looted goods from vendors and parked vehicles on Wednesday.
Chief police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba confirmed the incident saying 26 suspects were arrested yesterday.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police wishes to advise the nation and visitors alike that the general security situation in the country remains tense, particularly in Harare where security forces continue to monitor the situation,” said Snr Ass-Comm Charamba.
“So far the Harare Central Business District is peaceful since most people were cautious and left early.
“We however urge people to remain calm and peaceful.
“Our investigations have also established that the number of deaths have risen to six as three of the victims succumbed to injuries whilst seeking medical attention at various hospitals.
”We deeply express our condolences. Fourteen people were also injured during the skirmishes and are admitted at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals.
“A total of 22 shops were damaged in Harare during the skirmishes whilst eight vehicles which were in the CBD, had their windscreens, windows, headlights and tail lights shattered.
“At the Simon Muzenda commuter rank the rowdy youths who were visibly drunk went to ZANU PF Harare provincial offices and completely set ablaze a Nissan Hardbody Wolf, Ford Ranger, Toyota Allion, Yutong bus, Mazda Capella and mini cooper and a Honda Fit which they drove and crushed against a pre-cast wall.
“Police investigations also revealed that a total of 4000 MDC Alliance supporters, some who were wearing t-shirts, holding placards and chanting political songs besieged the Harare Central Business District.
“The majority of these rioters were armed with iron bars, stones, knobkerries and logs and as they moved, they attacked people, overturned bins, set on fire cardboard boxes, and disused tyres.
They totally blocked the smooth flow of traffic. So far the police have managed to arrest eight suspects in connection with this case amongst them Shadreck Mashayamombe, a member of the MDC Alliance.
“We also established that some vendors and street kids participated in the riots.
“The ZRP strongly condemns the use of alcohol and drugs that characterised events prior to the riots that rocked the country on Wednesday.
“In the same vein we want to make it categorically clear that political leaders were very irresponsible in that they allowed their supporters to assault journalists.
“The police has conducted various awareness campaigns on the need to safeguard both journalists and the public.
“We are appealing to respective political party leaders to stop continuously issuing statements that are inflammatory and incite violence and we urge party members themselves to maintain peace, law and order.
“Political party leaders should not incite violence. If there are any disputes we encourage aggrieved parties to utilise laid down procedures or to approach the courts for redress.
“The police and other security services are firmly on the ground monitoring and patrolling Harare Central Business District and other surrounding areas with a view of maintaining law and order.
Snr Ass-Comm Charamba thanked members of the public who are providing information in the form of video footage of people who were inciting others to participate in the violent demonstration.
She dismissed a report in the media that police no longer want to interview Tendai Biti saying the report is not correct as the Zimbabwe Republic Police is still keen to interview him.