The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) claimed that soldiers and the ruling ZANU PF party’s youth militia were deployed to disperse demonstrators who had converged on the 16th of August in Harare.
This was said by MDC organising secretary Amos Chibaya in an interview with NewsDay. He said:
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The police must account. There must be an audit of who was deployed to deal with that demonstration. This is because we have received information that some of the people deployed on the streets were not actually police, but party youths.
This is a gross violation of the Constitution and, therefore, there should be an audit.
The conduct of the police must not invite debate among the citizens. The authority of the policy is applied based on trust and fairness outside that the police have no authority, people should have confidence in them, but their actions have greatly invited doubt and to restore the confidence they should publish (names of) all the officers who were deployed.
The police have however dismissed the MDC’s claims, saying that only police officers were deployed.
As far as we are concerned, all the people deployed for any police duty, including for the demonstrations, were police officers.
Anyone who has concerns about our conduct should approach the Commissioner-General (Godwin Matanga) of the police for answers.
Tear gas and batons were used by police to violently break up a march organised by the opposition. Close to a hundred protestors were arrested.