Zimbabwe opposition vows to fight on despite violent police attack on MDC supporters

Zimbabwean police, on November 20 2019, used batons, tear gas and water cannons to beat up and disperse supporters of the main opposition party, who had gathered outside the Movement for Democratic Change headquarters in the capital, Harare, to listen to a speech by their leader.

The MDC Alliance has vowed that the army and police were not “big enough” to stop it from championing the will of the people.

This was said by party leader Nelson Chamisa’s spokesperson Nkululeko Sibanda after police moved in to violently disperse crowds at the party headquarters in Harare.

“The police and the army are not big enough to stop Chamisa and the MDC. The struggle of Zimbabwe will go on and hope will not die. We are surprised at the behaviour of the police today.

“We are not spoiling for a fight with them but they are the ones spoiling for a fight with the people of Zimbabwe. Today there was a peaceful, not violent, gathering until the police came and the only violence we saw was from the state,” he said.

On Wednesday morning, armed riot police moved in swiftly and allegedly beat up MDC Alliance supporters that had gathered to listen to Chamisa’s “Hope Of The Nation” address.

Initially, the MDC Alliance had applied for permission to stage the event at the Africa Unity Square in the CBD. However, police refused to grant them permission on grounds that angry masses would take advantage of the meeting and vent their anger on the Mnangagwa establishment.

“The ordinary citizens in the country are experiencing economic hardships so any call for the public meeting in the CBD might be taken advantage of by the already agitated citizens and violence might erupt,” the police said in the response.

But the opposition defied the police order, and instead chose to stage the address at Morgan Tsvangirai House.

Before Chamisa could arrive, the police instructed people to leave. When nobody listened, police moved in.

Human rights advocate Pedzisayi Ruhanya called it “Mnangagwa’s authoritarian signature”, while MDC Alliance senator David Coltart on Twitter posted pictures of people who sustained head injuries.

“To all those apologists of the Mnangagwa regime - look into the eyes of these innocent victims of gross ZRP brutality this morning. Old men and women included,” he tweeted.

This year alone at least five MDC Alliance rallies and public meetings have been banned. 


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