THE 62-year-old Chitungwiza woman, the victim of a brutal assault by the police as she sat outside the Harare Magistrates’ Court last Friday, told MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday that the attack had emboldened her resolve to participate in all future anti-government demonstrations.
Source: Police brutality emboldened my resolve: Victim – NewsDay Zimbabwe August 31, 2016
BY XOLISANI NCUBE
Lilian Chinyerere Shumba told Tsvangirai during a surprise visit to her home that, up to now, she was still trying to come to terms with the motive behind her attack.
The incident received international condemnation after her pictures went viral on social media platforms.
“The young boy (police officer) kicked me three times and I was hit three times by a baton for nothing, just because I was wearing red clothes. It’s very unfortunate that the young cops thought they were going to silence me, I will not be,” she said.
“At the next demonstration, I will be at the forefront, because I believe this country needs change.”
Shumba said prior to the attack, she had joined other protesters at Freedom Square before deciding to take a rest at the courts.
“While I was there, I saw armed police officers coming for me. I could not run because of my age and this young cop, someone as young as my last born, kicked me like he was kicking a child. It was painful, but I asked myself: Is this the Zimbabwe we want?” she said.
Violence broke out when police broke a protest march organised by opposition political parties to demand electoral reforms ahead of the 2018 elections.
Police fired teargas at the protesters, causing mayhem in the city centre.
Tsvangirai described the police’s attack on Shumba as immoral.
“It’s uncouth for a young man to beat up such an old woman who was only demanding to be heard by the State,” he said. “These police officers must know that some of the demonstrators are their mothers and it’s not in our culture for children to beat up their mothers.
“This shows that (President Robert) Mugabe and his regime are teaching young police officers alien things. It’s unheard of for such an old woman to be kicked like that by a young boy. I am ashamed of the police officer who did it.
“I hear they are saying Tsvangirai is the one sponsoring these people to revolt against Mugabe. Can’t they see that there is hunger in the country? People are frustrated and if you look at this old woman here, she should be resting, but because of the failure by those in government, she can’t. She then decides to peacefully demonstrate, but she is abused, it’s sad.”