Zim Police Disperse MDC Supporters With Batons, Shields Ahead Of Party Rally

Zimbabwe riot police. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

HARARE – Riot police with batons and shields in Zimbabwe on Wednesday dispersed opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) supporters in central Harare.

Water cannons and truckloads of riot police were patrolling the city’s CBD, as MDC leader Nelson Chamisa prepared to deliver a much-anticipated speech at his party’s headquarters.

Chamisa had wanted to deliver his “Hope of the Nation” speech in Africa Unity Square. However, police barred him from doing so, saying the meeting could be hijacked by what it called agitated citizens experiencing economic hardships.

The venue for the speech was then moved to the MDC’s headquarters, about a kilometre away. But riot police cordoned off the area on Wednesday morning before using batons and shields to disperse supporters who were singing and chanting slogans in the street outside.

Chamisa’s spokesman, Nkululeko Sibanda, said a number of people were injured in the crackdown. But he told Eyewitness News that Chamisa’s address would still go ahead.


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