HARARE – There were violent clashes between Zimbabwe National army members in uniform and police in Harare central business district on Tuesday as President Mugabe’s regime collapses amid reports soliders were deployed by the under-fire Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander General Chiwenga.
The clash started off at Fourth Street commuter bus station and along Robert Mugabe Street and eyewitness said Police were beaten up and ran into Harare Central Police station as members of the public cheered and jeered.
Sources said the trouble started after the provocation on Monday when police threw spikes to a truck belonging to the army, and members of the army responded by beating up police officers.
On Tuesday in carefully planned attack in platoon formations, soldiers armed with sjamboks and sticks attacked police officers and turned over trucks belonging to venders.
An eye witness gave account of his experience to The Zimbabwe Mail reporter said; “Earlier on this evening four of us were in the city packed in Julius Nyerere when crowds of people came running past us strangely with one making a sound. Just a stampede.
“Our colleague driving us came rushing to where I was already sitting in my car awaiting others’ return when he shouted – lie down in the car – soldiers beating people up. I could not restrain my curiosity and sat up to look at where crowds were rushing from. Suddenly I saw smart uniformed soldiers running after crowds.”
“Our two other passengers finally returned with a version of what they had seen and heard. They were in Robert Mugabe street when they saw crowds rushing towards them. Both rushed into an open shop which the owner closed as uniformed soldiers rushed past chasing people.”
“They saw one soldier rush past holding a ndzimbe (sugar cane) sized rod beating up a uniformed police officer who was running away at full speed. There was talk of one woman by the corner where they had to cross to get back to the car who was said to be bleeding after being bashed up.”
“We drove home shocked. There are many stories now circulating about what we witnessed. Now safety back home we are still to learn what was going on.”
More to follow…