Chaos at SADC summit venue as police clash with protesters in Harare

Harare – Armed police and over 200 members of Zimbabwe’s main opposition party Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) clashed in the Harare central business district on Tuesday morning, in front of the venue where a SADC summit was underway.

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police

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The MDC-T protesters were demanding SADC leaders to save Zimbabwe from President Robert Mugabe whom they said is an evil dictator who caused too much suffering of ordinary people.

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The demonstration kicked off at MDC headquarters in central Harare and proceeded along Jason Moyo Avenue to the plush Meikles Hotel located at 3rd Street and Jason Moyo where the SADC summit is being held.

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The protesters were waving placards inscribed with messages like ‘SADC save us from Mugabe ISIS’, ‘Zanuphobia in Zimbabwe’, “Mugabe should go now SADC’, and ‘Bob is election rigging machine”.

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‘Dog and devil’

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There were also those singing songs such as “Bob is a dog and devil” and Morgan Tsvangirai is the “legitimate leader of Zimbabwe”.

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“We want to show SADC everything is not well in Zimbabwe and [that] Mugabe is a dictator who has brought too much pain to Zimbabweans,” one protester told News24.

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A few minutes later armed police descended on the venue and dispersed the protesters who were still singing and dancing by beating them with batons.

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Mugabe, 91, has ruled Zimbabwe with an iron fist for the past 35 years and Zimbabwe opposition parties accuse him of rigging every election.

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The four-day SADC summit kicked off in Harare at the weekend with the Council of Ministers meeting held on Monday in preparation for the heads of State Summit on Wednesday.