Three unarmed civilians were fatally shot by police during a government-backed operation to remove commuter omnibuses and informal traders from the Central Business District.
While the ban was reversed by 5pm following angry protests, curiously by 8pm, police and the army were still in the streets enforcing the ban.
It was during the skirmishes that police officers who are yet to appear before the courts shot into the crowd and killed Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe newspaper sales agent Nhamo Zephenia, Anatoria Kaseke and another unnamed person.
There was a sombre atmosphere as Zephenia was laid to rest at Zororo Cemetery in Harare.
Some family members, relatives and friends were not deterred by the lack of buses to ferry mourners and arrived for the burial on the back of trucks to lay the 64-year-old hardworking salesman to rest.
Zephenia’s family wept uncontrollably as his coffin was lowered into the grave, with mourners calling for compensation for the remaining families.
However, speaking to the Daily News on the sidelines of his father’s burial, Zephenia’s son Ronald said the family needs time away from the limelight to mourn their father.
Zephenia left behind four children who are all above 21 years.
“The police assisted us with $200 and Doves provided a coffin and chairs.
“At the moment we are hurting and I am not in a position to share much until we have sat down with the family and agreed on a way forward,” he said.
Kaseke’s family said while government donated $200 for funeral expenses for the deceased, the donation was not enough.
Kaseke, who was laid to rest in Murewa, left behind seven children with five being under 21.
“Itai kuti munhu akaponda vanhu asungwe (Ensure that the person who murdered these innocent people faces justices),” yelled a mourner during Kaseke’s burial in Murewa.
National Vendors Union Zimbabwe (Navuz) chairperson Sten Zvorwadza, who delivered a graveyard speech during Kaseke’s burial, told the Daily News that his association would drag government to court to compensate the families of the deceased.
“The only way to bring closure to the highest level of addressing this open wound right now‚ is for government not to make piecemeal donations but to fully compensate the families of those whose lives they cut short.
“Kaseke had five children under 21 years old; bright children who still need to go to school, who still need to eat.
“At the time she was murdered, she was pregnant but the police never took care to save either the mother or the baby and this is why the family believes their family member was innocent and she was murdered.” DailyNews