Anti-riot Police Disperse Gweru Lawyers’ March Over ‘Rot’ At The Courts

Police in Gweru crashed a march by lawyers in the Midlands capital on Wednesday. The lawyers had notified the police of the planned march as required under the Public Order and Security Act.

The march was in protest over the blanket denial of bail by magistrates to MDC MPs arrested on allegations of public violence among other grievances.

The lawyers were however dispersed by police in full riot gear and equipped with water cannons.

While speaking to the Newsday Weekender, Gweru Lawyers’ Association spokesperson, Esau Mandipa said:

We condemn the behaviour of the police because they violated our right to peaceful demonstration.

We notified them two days before and only on the day of the march that is when they came to us saying we could not march because police were understaffed due to the national clean-up campaign where deployments had been made.

We are saddened by the heavy-handedness of the police. At my office, for example, there were 10 riot cops manning the entrance for unknown reasons.

Midlands police spokesperson Inspector Joel Goko could not be reached for comment while national spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi expressed ignorance fo the incident.

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