Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
Police yesterday arrested 91 people in and around Harare in connection with the illegal demonstration organised by MDC-Alliance.
The Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services said no one died during the demonstrations, while two people were injured.
One allegation of assault on a journalist, Fani Mapfumo, was noted, while another journalist, Ms Memory Chamisa, is said to have lodged a complaint of harassment.
Police immediately apologised and Ms Chamisa accepted this.
The police yesterday contained rowdy MDC-Alliance activists who tried to impose themselves in Africa Unity Square, the venue of the intended demonstration.
Most areas were however, calm after police asserted their authority by maintaining peace and order.
In a statement last night, Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP)spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the 91 were arrested for various offences arising from the illegal demonstration which the police had earlier prohibited.
The High Court subsequently upheld the prohibition after it dismissed an application by MDC-Alliance challenging the ban.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police informs the nation that following the issuance of a prohibition notice by the regulating authority for Harare Central District, the MDC-Alliance filed an urgent Chamber application with the High Court.
“The High Court ruled against the holding of the demonstration, but the MDC-Alliance activists went on to gather at Africa Unity Square and other parts of Harare central business district (CBD) in defiance of the court ruling.
“Some of the youths went on to engage in confrontational acts which included threats, intimidation and disruption of the smooth flow of traffic in the CBD. The police moved in and dispersed the unlawful gathering. In the process, 91 people were arrested for various offences in Chitungwiza, Harare central business district and Harare South,” said Asst Comm Nyathi.
He dismissed as false, online reports claiming that police had shot into crowds, killing two people.
“We have also noted with concern falsehoods by some online publications that the police shot into the crowd, killing two people, which is false. No live rounds were used by the police. No one was shot or injured by police through firearms.
“The police are firm on the ground to ensure that law and order is maintained. We are appealing to the members of the public to remain calm and peaceful. They should continue to conduct day to day activities in a peaceful manner. We want to assure our citizens that the police stand ready to protect Zimbabweans and visitors . . .”