MDC’s Tsvangirai slams police brutality #ZimGrandDemo
Get the latest details as Zimbabwe opposition parties go ahead with the planned grand demonstration to press for the implementation of electoral reforms.
From News24’s Correspondent in Harare:
It was the image of one small dead dog that summed up both the rage and heartbreak in Zimbabwe as anti-government protesters tried to hold a “mega” march on Friday.
As helicopters hovered overhead at midday and riot police tried to force opposition supporters to disperse, someone tore down the road sign for Robert Mugabe Road and photographed it lying on the tarmac next to the body of a small white dog.There was little doubting the symbolism of the picture.
“No road through for a dead dog,” crowed one Twitter user, referring of course to the longtime Zimbabwe leader who, though aged and increasingly frail, shows no sign of wanting to step down.
“A group essentially saying Mugabe is a dead dog,” explained @ConcernedZimCitizen.But had the animal been killed by protesters, as the official Herald immediately suggested?Tweeted the newspaper, which is fiercely loyal to the 92-year-old president: “Hoodlums contravening the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act as they demonstrate downtown.”
Prominent publisher @TrevorNcube thought they hadn’t, no doubt echoing the hopes of many animal-lovers in this southern African country.
Some Mugabe watchers claim that the 92-year-old president appeared at the Harare Agricultural Show on Thursday incongruously sporting soft indoor shoes in a possible sign of infirmity.
The claim has not been independently verified.Police have used teargas to try to stop protesters gathering for Friday’s march to press for electoral reforms. The High Court said it should go ahead at midday.
But home affairs minister Ignatius Chombo threatened would-be protesters in a televised statement on Thursday night, and there are mounting fears of violence.
Prominent activists Stern Zworwadza and Promise Mkwananzi were picked up by police on Friday, according to rights group Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition.