At least 85 anti-government protesters were seriously injured in Harare when heavily armed riot police tried to stop them from marching towards Parliament.
Up to 2000 protestors under the #Tajamuka and #ThisGown movements lined the streets of Harare and successfully marched against President Robert Mugabe’s government over the 90 percent unemployment and the planned introduction of bond notes in Zimbabwe.
According to Jacob Ngarivhume, a member of the opposition Transform Zimbabwe party, “We have more than 85 people who were severely injured, and we are still trying to collate the figures of [others] injured.”
Trigger-happy riot police fired teargas and water cannons to disperse the demonstrators, many of whom were carrying “Mugabe must go” placards, even though the courts had approved the march despite resistance from the Zanu PF-aligned police force.
“Mugabe and his government need to step aside and allow citizens to rebuild their country,” said Promise Mkwananzi, spokeswoman of the #Tajamuka campaign that has been leading several daring anti-government protests in the past weeks.
In an Interview with Nehanda TV on Wednesday, Mkwananzi confirmed reports that “the President’s office has issued a communique on all borders and airports for my arrest.” Mkwananzi however vowed the threats from Mugabe would not scare him.
On Wednesday several journalists were assaulted by riot police. Aljazeera’s Haru Mutasa, BBC’s Tendai Masiyazviripo, freelance journalists Chris Mahove and Tony Manyangadze as well as Idah Mhetu, a female photo journalist with the Financial Gazette were targeted.
“We condemn the police for brutally attacking members of the press,” said Secretary General of the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists, Foster Dongozi.
Later in the day police spokesperson Charity Charamba defending the police actions saying “officers only acted in self-defence after the demonstrators started throwing stones.” Nehanda Radio