- Southern Africa
- Demonstration - Governance
Zimbabwe police attack peaceful demonstrators as power-sharing talks begin
Riot police broke up a student demonstration in Harare on Tuesday, injuring at least four people and arresting three.
This is the second incident of police violence after the signing of a power-sharing agreement by Zimbabwe’s political protagonists a month ago.
The first was when Zanu PF and MDC supporters clashed at the signing ceremony venue.
The attack on the peaceful demonstration took place just as Thabo Mbeki began mediating to try and rescue the agreement from collapse after Robert Mugabe during the weekend unilaterally allocated to his Zanu-PF party the most important posts in the proposed power-sharing government.
About 200 students had marched to parliament building to present a petition protesting over the failure since August of nearly all the country’s universities to open for the new academic year.
Close to 30 riot police, with batons, dogs and firearms, stopped them and told them to send two representatives with the petition to the parliament doors.
Several cars where damaged in the mayhem.
Observers say the attack on the demonstration is an indication that the octogenarian dictator’s regime is resuming its hard-line strategy as hopes for change falter.