The Zimbabwe Republic Police anti-riot unit on Saturday flooded the Africa Unity Square in central Harare and stopped people from passing through the park.
The move was a reaction to rumors that human rights groups planned to picket in commemoration of disappeared journalist-cum-activist Itai Dzamara.
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The heavily armed police officers forced weekend shoppers who were reclining on the pristine park’s benches off the area and barred anyone from walking across the place.
Asked if the police deployment has anything to do with Dzamara, National Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi professed ignorance. He said:
When it comes to gathering they would have informed Harare province. You may want to check with the provincial spokesperson.
Itai Dzmara’s brother, Patson said that the system is insincere and hypocritical. Speaking to NewZimbabwe.com. Dzamara said:
This clearly shows this is the very same system that abducted Itai. Once again they betray their hypocrisy and insincerity. When their partisans protest against sanctions, they are allowed to go ahead.
This is obviously despicable, unacceptable and a clear attestation of the fact that there is nothing new about the so-called facade they erroneously call new dispensation.
Inspired by Itai’s bold stand against oppression, we will not cower. We commit to finishing what he started and getting this evil government to account for Itai.