Protesters brought the centre of Zimbabwe’s capital to a standstill and fought running battles with police on Friday during one of the biggest demonstrations against Comrade Robert Mugabe for decades.
The chaotic scenes came after 18 opposition groups and parties called their supporters to march for reform of the country’s widely-discredited electoral system before national elections in 2018.
The authorities in Harare tried to block the protest, but it was given the go-ahead by the High Court. Even so, police used tear gas and water cannons against marchers in Freedom Square within 20 minutes of the court order.
Shops owned by Vice President were closed to prevent a second round of looting Violence has escalated in Harare. Shops have been looted. Protesters were setting the city on fire. Police run out of water canons, and were spraying ordinary water on protesters.
Protesters were not moved at all and kept advancing. Protesters were hunting down and beating police officers Zanu PF Youths (popularly called Youthies) joined the fight, assaulting protesters and charging with their own weapons. The Army has been deployed into the country’s capital as violence escalates soldier has reportedly stoned a protester to death along Jason Moyo, causing a new spate of violence.
Reports say the Vice President of Sierra Leone who was visiting Harare was forced to evacuate the country. Protesters refuse to back down even after military is deployed. Direct gestures at helicopters. Protesters have used spikes to deflate tires on police vans, so most police vans are stuck with flat tires.
The presidential motorcade has been spotted at high speed heading towards Harare International Airport. Whilst there is no official trip planned, at first reports indicated President Robert Mugabe had left the country.