This was the scene at the extremely busy Fourth Street Bus Terminus in Harare City today at about 4:30p.m. As you can see, it is totally deserted, although this is peak hour, when the place is normally crawling with commutters trying to go back home.
Here is what happened. I heard loud shouts from my 9th Floor office, overlooking the bus terminus. Dr Makoni was in the office at the time. My office is three doors away from his, which looks directly out onto the Terminus. By the time I got into the boardroom next to his office, he and another National Management Committee member were standing by the window in his office looking out. People were running in all directions. I saw four soldiers beating up two policemen in grey uniforms (the reserve police force).
Soon after this, a riot police convoy arrived and I saw another group of six soldiers at the ZANU PF district office end of the Terminus, who were dragging two policemen by the scruff of their necks, trying to leave the terminus.
Soon after this, I heard what sounded like gunshots. It turned out the rio police had fired teargas canisters at a grop of soldiers who were at the Duly's end of the Teminus. Another shot rang out and teargas could be seen, now from the ZANU PF office end of the terminus. People were now covering their mouths and eyes, running like hell.
That is when I ran to my office to take a digital camera. The view from the boardroom window above, could only take in the terminus itself and by this time, the place was deserted, drivers of the minibuses that ferry people home had fled and all the cars were unmanned.
In the picture, you can see the few people left (in the bottom left hand side, staring at the action that was taking place at the Duly's end of the Terminus, where riot police were firing teargas canisters at the unarmed soldiers (out of shot) who soon scattered down Fourth street,towards the railways and towards Samora Machel Avenue)
Soon afterwards, I then heard another commotion coming from the Miekles hotel area. This time, it was civilians (forex dealers disturbed by the commotion), who were making their way up Jason Moyo street. There were sounds of glass being smashed. I rushed down the stairs, but the security at our building had locked the main entrance and would not allow us to leave.
Anyway. that was as much as I saw and I will be doing a longer piece later on this evening because info is coming in all the time and I think I understand now exactly what is happening.
This is a rushed post, please forgive any typos!
Mugabe is still in Doha, attending a UN conference.