Police descend on Africa Unity Square protesters

POLICE pounced on Africa Unity Square protestors on Monday and allegedly assaulted them before ordering them off the park.

Source: Police descend on Africa Unity Square protesters – NewsDay Zimbabwe June 22, 2016

BY OBEY MANAYITI

Initially, the demonstrators had planned 16 days of protest against the Zanu PF government’s failure to stop human rights abuses and its inability to rescue the ailing economy before some of them were arrested for robbery and obstructing the course of justice.

Determined to press the government and demanding that President Robert Mugabe steps down, the activists regrouped and are now meeting daily in the evening in a new campaign dubbed #5to6.

In an interview yesterday Patson Dzamara, who is one of the activists, said they were also joined by suspended Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni on Monday who left before the police raid.

“As we peacefully gathered at our usual spot, the comrades who have been incarcerated for eight days at Harare Remand and Chikurubi prisons shared on their experiences,” Dzamara said.

“The discussion naturally spilled over into the topic of State repression and the ridiculous and archaic tactics used by this government to clamp down on its own citizens, and we voiced and reaffirmed our resolve to carry on fighting for the freedom and rights of Zimbabweans.”

He added: “As soon as we wrapped up our programme, riot police approached from both sides, aggressively ordering us to lie on our stomachs. After keeping us for about half an hour, occasionally beating us, they ordered us to leave and chased us out of the park.”

Dzamara said they sustained minor injuries and were treated the same night.

He said they were going to seek the court’s assistance so that police will be barred from interfering with their activities.

Dzamara said they will continue pressing until Mugabe leaves office. “We have not changed the agenda of our mission, the demonstrations will continue until Mugabe and his government step down. The #5to6 programme will run on periodic themes at national level, but will zero in on the specific issues affecting communities in general and young people in particular,” he said.

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