Police, Vendors Arrested Over Monday Violence in Mbare
Zimbabwe's feared riot police battled to contain an irate crowd in Mbare on Monday after a vendor had been killed in disturbances sparked by a crackdown started by municipal police. Three municipal police have now been arrested over the death
Harare, Zimbabwe, 11 November 2009
Some Harare Municipal Policemen and 8 other people have been arrested in Harare over the disturbances that led to the death of a 25 year old vendor and sparked an all-day riot in Mbare on Monday this week.
It has now emerged that the vendor died as a result of being tripped by a Municipal Policeman as he fled. It is further alleged that, as he fell, he was kicked in the groin. He died on the spot and the municipal police were unable even to remove his body because the crowd then turned on them and chased them off. Riot police had to be called in, but even they failed to quell the riot because they had come with only one truck. They eventually had to call for reinforcements, which were able to calm the situation with some difficulty.
ZANU PF is now taking advantage of the situation, since Harare City Council is controlled by the MDC-Tsvangirai. Yesterday, Ignatious Chombo, the Minister of Local Government and a member of ZANU PF, was in Mbare where he sided with the vendors and declared that he had ordered that they be allowed to operate without being molested.
Besides the three municipal policemen arrested, there are also eight other people who have arrested on allegations of starting the riot.
The situation in Mbare is now back to normal and even the vendors operating at the open space near the Mbare Flats are back at work.
It remains to be seen whether the move by ZANU PF to try and capitalise on this event will bear any fruits for them.