Monday 19 August 2019


THE Nelson Chamisa-led opposition MDC has sensationally claimed that soldiers and graduates of Zanu PF’s notorious National Youth Service, also known as Green Bombers, were on Friday dressed up in riot police gear and deployed to crush an anti-government protest organised by the opposition party in Harare.

Party organising secretary Amos Chibaya told NewsDay yesterday that the party was concerned after it emerged that some people wearing police uniform, but not attested to the security sector, were used to beat up demonstrators who took to the streets to protest against the skyrocketing cost of living, souring inflation and shortages of critical basic commodities.

“The police must account. There must be an audit of who was deployed to deal with that demonstration. This is because we have received information that some of the people deployed on the streets were not actually police, but party youths. This is a gross violation of the Constitution and, therefore, there should be an audit,” he said.

The MDC demanded names of all officers deployed to crush the Friday demonstration to be made public for accountability, and vowed they were going ahead with their planned protest in Bulawayo today despite another police ban.

“The conduct of the police must not invite debate among the citizens. The authority of the police is applied based on trust and fairness outside that the police have no authority, people should have confidence in them, but their actions have greatly invited doubt and to restore confidence they should publish (names of) all the officers who were deployed,” he said.

But national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi dismissed the allegations, saying real police officers were deployed on Friday.

“As far as we are concerned, all the people deployed for any police duty, including for the demonstrations, were police officers. Anyone who has concerns about our conduct should approach the Commissioner-General (Godwin Matanga) of the police for answers,” he said.

Addressing journalists in the aftermath of the foiled protest march, Chamisa denied reports that the protesters were armed with stones and catapults to fight the police.

“Why would we gather catapults? For what? And to confront with people who have guns? Are we that naive that we would want to wedge a war against the police."Newsday


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