Burn­ing & loot­ing in Harare as party youths run riot

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Chronicle - Free­man Razemba

PROP­ERTY worth thou­sands of dol­lars was de­stroyed, while two trucks be­long­ing to po­lice and the Zim­babwe Broad­cast­ing Cor­po­ra­tion were burnt to shells by MDC-T youths who ran amok in Harare yes­ter­day dur­ing an il­le­gal demon­stra­tion against al­leged “po­lice bru­tal­ity”.

The rowdy youths also looted gro­ceries from sev­eral su­per­mar­kets, in­clud­ing Chop­pies along Nel­son Man­dela Av­enue, where they stole ex­pen­sive whisky and other al­co­holic bev­er­ages.

A po­lice base at Mar­ket Square bus ter­mi­nus was de­stroyed by the youths who had stones in their bags and pock­ets.

The youths who were re­port­edly tak­ing in­struc­tions from the MDC-T head­quar­ters, used hu­man shields dur­ing their demon­stra­tion, as they at­tacked po­lice of­fi­cers with stones be­fore dis­ap­pear­ing into the pub­lic.

This made it dif­fi­cult for the po­lice to smoke out the hooli­gans.

Po­lice were de­ployed in and around the city to main­tain or­der.

No ar­rests had been made by late yes­ter­day as po­lice launched a man­hunt for some of the cul­prits.

Chief po­lice spokesper­son Se­nior As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner Char­ity Charamba yes­ter­day said the il­le­gal demon­stra­tion started when the youths con­vened in the morn­ing near the in­ter­sec­tion of Julius Ny­erere Way and Nel­son Man­dela Av­enue where they pro­voked peo­ple who were at some banks.

“While these MDC youths had gath­ered at the in­ter­sec­tion of Julius Ny­erere Way and Nel­son Man­dela Av­enue, the other team, which was be­ing led by their con­vener, had gone to Harare Cen­tral (Po­lice) Dis­trict to in­form the po­lice about their demon­stra­tion.

“While they were talk­ing to the po­lice, of­fi­cers re­ceived a mes­sage that there were some dis­tur­bances in the city and rushed to the scene,” she said.

When po­lice ar­rived at the scene, she said, the con­vener in­stead of res­train­ing the youths from car­ry­ing out the demon­stra­tions, in­cited them to con­tinue.

“They went on a ram­page and looted from shops in­clud­ing Chop­pies, ven­dors and burnt two trucks be­long­ing to the po­lice and ZBC. They also de­stroyed a po­lice base and stoned sev­eral cars in the city. The youths were mov­ing around with stones in their pock­ets, mean­ing that the in­ten­tion was to cause havoc in the city,” Snr Asst Comm Charamba said.

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