Heal Zimbabwe takes note of the disturbances that characterized the demonstration against police brutality that was organized by the MDC-T Youth Assembly on 24 August 2016. What started as a peaceful demonstration ended violently and led to a total lockdown of Harare central business district (CBD) as police fought running battles with protestors.
In the melee that ensued, riot police started using water cannons and tear smoke to disperse crowds around the CBD. Ordinary citizens who were not involved in the demonstration were caught unaware and affected. The discharge of a tear smoke canister into a commuter omnibus with people inside including children shows the reckless manner in which the concerned police officers execute crowd control. Such carelessness is a cause for concern since it only escalates anger against the police and begets violence from citizens. Constitutionally, the police are supposed to protect and secure the lives and property of people. To date, a total of 59 people have been arrested for inciting violence during the demonstration.
Heal Zimbabwe also urges citizens to desist from resorting to violence to register grievances. Heal Zimbabwe condemns the burning of state vehicles as witnessed during the demonstrations. Such acts have a bearing on tax payer’s money which will be used to recover such costs by the state. Heal Zimbabwe implores citizens to continue using peaceful, non-violent means to register grievances.