Mbare tense after mega demonstration
MBARE was yesterday tense following Friday’s bloody clashes between riot police and protestors following the disruption of a High Court sanctioned opposition political parties demonstration in Harare.
BY STAFF Reporter
While most businesses were open including the popular sports betting shops, residents of the restive suburb were still afraid of a repeat of Friday’s events.
“Most of my colleagues did not come today. They are not sure if the violence will not start again,” said an elderly vegetable vendor.
A hairdresser at a salon close to one supermarket chain said she had to ask her client to go home.
“I had only shampooed her hair but I had to let her go home with water dripping from her head because it is too risky,” she said.
The hairdresser said police raided several homes in the evening to pluck out people suspected to have looted shops in the CBD and those who fought running battles with the law enforcers.
The violent demonstrations which resulted in business coming to a standstill spilled over into residential areas close to the city.
Many shops closed as the rowdy crowds took the demonstrations to the streets with police in hot pursuit.
“Some youths, I am not sure which party, were clearly agitating for a fight, whistling and chanting some songs,” said another vegetable vendor.
She said many of her colleagues lost their wares as they also took to their heels upon getting news that people were now trying to continue with the demonstrations away from the CBD.
“We heard sirens and someone said a police truck was on its way. We all fled this place,” said an airtime vendor.
A shop assistant at a supermarket said it was very scary and they had to close earlier than usual.
“There were potential looters just loitering around and we decided to close early. We were all afraid because we had wrongly assumed it would be confined to the CBD,” she said.
Imbibers were not spared and many left their half full drinks.
“We normally chill here after work but yesterday the environment was not conducive,” said a young man in his late twenties.
Harare’s poor suburbs have suffered the wrath of the police each time there are demonstrations against President Robert Mugabe’s rule. -The Standard