Police Bomb CCC Rally With Tear Gas
16 August 2023
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Police Attribute Masvingo Rally Violence to Rowdy CCC Supporters, Tear Smoke Deployed

Masvingo-The police have placed blame on “rowdy” Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) supporters for the violent clashes that unfolded at a campaign rally featuring opposition leader Nelson Chamisa in Masvingo on Sunday evening. The incident occurred at Mamutse Ground in Masvingo, where Chamisa addressed a restive crowd after the approved rally hours.

In an official statement issued today, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi, the national police spokesperson, detailed the events that led to the clashes. According to Nyathi, the CCC rally had been sanctioned by the regulatory authority to take place within specific hours, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, as indicated in the notification submitted by the party’s convenor, Martin Mureri.

However, the rally started later than the specified time, with Nelson Chamisa addressing the crowd at 4:45 PM. As the leader addressed his supporters, tension escalated when police officers attempted to intervene due to the rally’s delayed commencement and the potential for security concerns. Chamisa’s security personnel and supporters obstructed the police officers from accessing the podium, leading to a confrontation.

The situation further escalated as the crowd reportedly became unruly, throwing stones at the police officers and threatening to set fire to police vehicles. A police officer was injured in the stone attack, prompting law enforcement agents to employ tear smoke to disperse the violent crowd.

Assistant Commissioner Nyathi explained that the police engaged CCC’s national organizing secretary, Amos Chibaya, and his team. The CCC leadership apologized for the non-compliance with the rally notification times and agreed to disband the crowd due to safety and security concerns surrounding night rallies. However, the situation turned chaotic, prompting the use of tear smoke.

Nyathi emphasized that the police conducted themselves professionally, causing no injuries or damage to property during the dispersal of the crowd. He reiterated the police’s stance that night rallies pose security risks and urged all political party leaders to adhere to proper organization of public gatherings to ensure the safety and security of the public.

The incident highlights the challenges associated with organizing and managing political rallies, as well as the potential for clashes between law enforcement and passionate supporters in the midst of heightened political tensions. The police continue to emphasize the importance of adhering to rally notification timelines to maintain law and order during campaign events.- Agrnecoed