There were running battles in Norton today as riot cops fired teargas and disrupted Themba Mliswa's rally in Norton.
Zanu PF bigwigs are said to have panicked when thousands turned up for the rally in Ngoni Stadium. Nelson Chamisa said they had mobilised thousands of their supporters to go and support Mliswa, but riot police with the help of Zanu PF youths came and violently disrupted the planned rally at Norton Ngoni Stadium.
Chamisa explained what happened : "We arrived at around 12 noon upon delivering the court order to the police. Just as we arrived, people started chanting and ululating. At that point a small crowd of about 200 ZANU PF supporters started to indiscriminately throwing stones at the peaceful residents/ supporters who had gathered to listen to the political messages.
In no time, and in aid of Zpf, the police started throwing teargas on to the otherwise peaceful thousands of people who had turned up for the rally.Yes, it was a bumper crowd indeed.It was a massive rally. Zanu PF got scared and worried.I understood them.Zanu pf supporters kept on shouting and chanting, 'Endai munoita marally kuBritain, kwete muno MuZimbabwe'
People were dispersed and then regrouped until police had to bring on reinforcement from Harare.The situation degenerated into running battles.
For the whole afternoon, Norton was all tear smoke today.There was teargas in Ngoni stadium, teargas in the streets, teargas in the beer halls and teargas at market places. Pregnant women and the elderly were victims.Innocent citizens including children and residents doing their own chores were targeted. As student activists we used to call it academic perfume...Now we call it the New Zimbabwe perfume.
Several vehicles were stoned including Mliswa's car. Several people were injured.Curiously, I then met Phillip Chiyangwa who literally appeared to be the Man in Charge of the contrived anarchy and sponsored chaos.I did not see or meet in person, Chombo and Kasukuwere whom I allegedly heard were also in the area.
Mliswa is running as an independent candidate in the Norton by-election, a seat that fell vacant after War Vets leader Christopher Mutsvangwa was expelled from Zanu PF for allegedly denigrating President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace.