Zim police, army ‘work together to end violence’, – report

Riot police detain residents of Epworth suburb after a protest by taxi drivers turned violent in Harare, Zimbabwe


Zimbabwean authorities have reportedly set up joint reaction teams to end a spate of violence and threats against opposition supporters by suspected military personnel in some parts of the capital Harare.

According to New Zimbabwe.com, in a joint statement the military and police urged the public to capture visual images of the abuses, but said however, that they must do so in a way that would not endanger their lives.

The security services agents have denied any involvement with a recent reign of terror unleashed on opposition supporters following a disputed election in recent weeks.

Human Rights Watch claimed this week that Zimbabwean security forces and unidentified gunmen had beaten and harassed dozens of people in a crackdown on the political opposition following the  disputed election.

Numerous cases

According to the Associated Press, the allegation contradicted assertions by the government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa that it has abandoned the state-sponsored violence and intimidation associated with the rule of former leader Robert Mugabe.

The government said this after soldiers last week opened fire on rioters, protesters and bystanders in Harare, an opposition stronghold. Six people were killed.

Human Rights Watch said it had documented “numerous cases” of soldiers beating up people in some Harare bars and restaurants since the August 1 shootings.

The military accused the people of undermining Mnangagwa because most votes in the Zimbabwean capital went to the opposition, according to the international rights group.

But the police and army officials said the alleged threats against opposition officials and supporters were likely carried out by criminals who were masquerading as soldiers.

“Some of these individuals might be criminals masquerading as soldiers. We assure the nation that we are ready to protect them through efficient discharge of our duties,” said the officials.

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