Police brutality and teargas attack in Bulawayo causes death of baby and elderly woman



Habakkuk Trust

Towards an informed, empowered and transformed society



Scores of residents in Mzilikazi’s Burombo hostels are still nursing injuries of police torture and brutality following the Wednesday 6 July 2016 Zimbabwe shutdown protests against social injustice and poverty.

Habakkuk Trust last week visited some of the victims of police brutality who narrated their traumatic experiences.

Residents in Burombo flats explained that police ambushed their hostels in the evening around 6pm and ordered everyone to move out of their house. Due to fear, the residents didn’t move out and the police started throwing teargases through windows and on corridors which forced people to move out and gather at an open space.

Everyone, from as young as 10 years and the elderly, were made to lie down on their stomachs and were beaten with baton sticks. Residents said they do not know why they were beaten as some of them never even participated in the protests.

The residents who spoke to Habakkuk Trust explained that the police forced them to sing the National Anthem in Shona and when they could not they were beaten again. Some were made to roll on the floor.

Some of them sustained injuries, some heavily affected by the teargas and are in need of medical assistance. Two people, a child and a old woman, have reportedly died as a result of inhaling teargas.

Meanwhile some residents have also complained that the police are indiscriminately arresting children accusing them of being part of the gang that looted at Mzilikazi Supermarket. 


Comment from Eddie Cross in Bulawayo:  I can confirm this organisation is on the ground in Bulawayo and is a sound source of accurate information. I visited these flats on Saturday and saw the Police in full riot gear still there – two days after this event. The residents of these flats are the poorest of the poor and what shocks me is the unprovoked and completely unjustified use of force. The problem of this kind of activity is that it will invoke a reaction, probably violent against the Police.

Eddie Cross is a Member of Parliament for Bulawayo South, a renowned Zimbabwean economist and founder member of the mainstream Movement for Democratic Change party led by Morgan Tsvangirai. He is currently the Policy Coordinator General and Secretary for Local Government.

Cell:      +263 772 227 144

E-mail:  egcross@africaonline.co.zw

Website:  www.eddiecross.africanherd.com