By Mlondolozi Ndlovu
Harare, June 21, 2016 – A group of activists who have been staging demonstrations against President Robert Mugabe’s government past few weeks have narrated their horrifying experience in the hands of anti-riot police on Monday evening.
Baton wielding police officers descended on Africa Unity Square where the activists were and started flogging each one of them for refusing to abandon their persistent protest.
The activists are currently out on bail after they were rounded up by police early this month on robbery and obstruction of justice charges which they insist were created by the state hoping to stop their protest.
The activists were Tuesday seen nursing wounds sustained from their Monday beatings at the Counselling Service Unit in Harare.
Narrating the ordeal in an interview with RadioVOP on Tuesday afternoon, Linda Masarira said police swooped on them at Africa Unity Square shortly after they had finished addressing a group of youths on the country’s deteriorating situation.
“Last night we successfully held our 5 to 6 dialogue program on conscientising the youths on their rights from this evil regime,” she said.
“This was a meeting of over 20 people including the Mayor of Harare Bernard Manyenyeni.
“As we finished the police then came and started beating us thoroughly, tortured us especially myself, Patson Dzamara, Tatenda Mombeyarara. It seems they were on a mission to break our spirits as they beat us without any reason.”
The female activist who was also part of the activists who were incarcerated at Chikurubi Maximum Prison, vowed the ordeal will not stop their resolve.
“They are trying to inflict a reign of terror on those who are still virgin political activists so that they stay away from political activity,” she said.
“We encourage Zimbabweans to come and join us demand justice. The more we are, the lesser the repression.”
Pride Mkono also narrated his own experience, saying police were punishing them for their relentless pursuit for justice through protests.
“The topical issue for our routine discussions yesterday was repression; ironically we had to experience the repression the same night,” Mkono said.
“We started at 5 to 6 o’clock. At about 5 minutes to 6 o’clock the police came and were very vicious and angry and starting insulting us telling us that ‘you are giving us a lot of work when we are not paid’.”
The former student leader condemned what he described as the state’s cowardice.
“This event reveals the cowardly nature of the regime that it had to wait for it to be dark for them to attack us at night and not during the day when everyone was seeing us.
“This however won’t stop us from demanding our constitutional rights,” he said.
Another activist, Tatenda Mombeyarara said they knew what they were doing saying the #5to6 movement was about expressing poverty of Zimbabweans.
“When the anti-riot police arrived, some people ran away. They rounded up 8 of us. They beat us up severely on our buttocks and our backs,” he said
“The beatings, the torture should not deter us. To Zimbabweans I would like to say weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning; they should keep fighting for true freedom will come,” said Mombeyarara.
The activist said they would continue with their occupation despite the repression adding they would soon be taking the police to court for failure to observe human rights.