News Brief

What is Going on in Harare?—We Talk to Zimbabweans in the Capital.

Images of violence breaking out in Harare are flooding social media, we reached out to hear from those in Harare.

Today cellphone videos of opposition protesters in central Harare being violently suppressed by Zimbabwean armed forces tore through social media. The protestors had gathered to oppose the election results showing a win in parliament for the ruling Zanu-PF party and were met by fleets of armored vehicles and soldiers alleged to be using live firepower.


George Karekwaivanane, an academic researcher reached in Harare told OkayAfrica,

"I was in town from around 12 midday and then left around 4:30 pm when the police and the army started clearing people out. I was initially following the protests at the MDC headquarters then I heard gunshots further down and I went to the fourth street area.

There was a lot of excitement in the atmosphere, the police vans were parked close by and people were toyi toying up and down the stretch of Nelson Mandela near the headquarters. What was remarkable about the scene was the protest and the close proximity of dozens of police vans and the infamous water cannons which in the past were a signal to flee."

Zivaishe, a student currently in Harare who preferred not to give her last name, told us that she has been keeping up with the news from messages and photos being circulated by friends on Whatsapp.

"Shots are going down in town right now. They are taking down all the Mnangagwa billboards by hand and the army has taken out the tanks. Police are beating demonstrators. The family is glued to the telly, and don't want anyone to leave because they might announce the presidential elections tonight and they fear a curfew. Anyone 'congregating illegally' will be arrested," she said.


She is one of many Harare residents who are waiting inside, away from the protests anxiously waiting for the results of the presidential poll. When I asked her if these protests seemed different from previous elections she responded,

"I think people are really angry but now feel like they have nothing to lose. Even when I went to the rally and was in town over the weekend, everyone was speaking freely, wearing MDC party regalia, actually stopping journalists and allowing then to film and take quotes. So this time there is a sense that Zanu and ZEC can't get away with this again."

The election results are anticipated to be coming out tomorrow and the army has been clearing people out of the city center in Harare today. Earlier Karekwainane tweeted a photo of a soldier who said to him, "Famba muende. Harare haisi majority. Majority iri kumusha" (Walk away. Harare is not the majority. The majority is in the rural areas).


Karekwainane continues, "We haven't heard anything about a curfew as yet, but several people were not planning to come to work tomorrow. I think the security forces are likely to be deployed across Harare tomorrow especially as the presidential results are going to start being announced soon."

**These photos have not been verified.


What is Going on in Harare?

Images of violence breaking out in Harare are flooding social media, we reached out to hear from those in Harare.



(YouTube)

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