By Staff Reporter
Harare, June 04, 2016 – A group of activists currently spending nights at Africa Unity Square, Harare to protest poor governance and rights abuses under the ruling Zanu PF party was on Friday night attacked by “thugs” which it says were sent by the state.
Zimbabwe Activist Alliance’s Linda Masarira confirmed the attacks.
“We were attacked last night by state organiosed thugs last night,” she said.
“I was assaulted and injured.
“Phones were stolen. James Jemwa, Philemon Jambaya and myself were physically assaulted and injured. Lynette, Nasper, Brian, Philemon and myself lost phones and money. All ladies were sexually assaulted.”
The group was in its fourth day after committing itself to spending 16 consecutive nights at the square in which abducted pro-democracy activist and journalist Itai Dzamara began his protests under the Occupy Africa Unity Square banner.
Patson Dzamara, brother to Itai, also confirmed the Friday incident.
“Something terrible happened tonight. About 14 individuals whom we are convinced are state organised thugs pounced on us. They stole some of our possessions including phones, money, blankets and food. Some of the occupants sustained minor injuries.
“…They flattened my car tyre using a sharp object.”
Dzamara was at pains to urge fellow Zimbabweans to join the protest, which is also meant to demand a stop in the harassment of vendors and massive joblessness.
“Fellow Zimbabweans, we are not here because we don’t have beds to sleep on. We are not here because we don’t have what it takes to be in a bar somewhere, it’s Friday. We are here because we believe this is the way to a better Zimbabwe,” he said.
“We believe that action on the ground is what will usher into the new Zimbabwe. We chose to walk the talk.
“The thugs were able to have their way because we are only a handful of us here. Where is everyone else.
“We believe that the time for a revolution is ripe but we need everyone to plug in and play their part. We can’t continue on the path of fear or else we will remain enslaved in our country.
“Let’s exit the fear zone and get on the ground together. We need you to join us here. A new Zimbabwe is possible and it needs you for it to be a reality.”