PM to meet Mugabe over police conduct

Armed riot police today (Saturday 29 October 2011) attempted to disrupt Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s tour of Matabeleland North when they locked up a hospital, dispersed nursing staff and threw away food meant for villagers who wanted to attend a rally in Lupane.


PM Tsvangirai later confronted the senior police officer at the scene and told them to respect the rule of law and allow Zimbabweans to exercise their basic freedoms of assembly, movement and association.

The drama started when three truckloads of police officers heavily armed with guns, teargas, canisters, and batons chased away staff and locked up the gate at St Paul’s clinic where the Prime Minister wanted to assess the dire situation at the health centre.

The clinic staff wanted the PM to assess the critical situation at the health institution which services more than 18000 villagers but has no mortuary, no doctor and no maternity ward.

The armed police further went to a nearby venue where the Prime Minister was later scheduled to address a rally. They violently dispersed the crowd that included elderly men and women who had come to interact with the PM. They overturned pots of food and threatened to shoot donkeys that had ferried some of the elderly to the rally.

When the PM arrived at his scheduled time the police had already violently chased everyone from the venue of the rally and ordered nursing staff and patients out of the clinic.

Accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister, Thokozani Khupe, ICT Minister, Nelson Chamisa and senior officials in his office, the Premier told the police to shun the culture of impunity and to respect people’s rights. He said he would discuss the deplorable conduct by the police with the co-ministers of Home Affairs and the President.

Prime Minister Tsvangirai was in Matabeleland North province touring development projects and holding high level meetings with senior government officials in the province.

Luke Tamborinyoka

Director of Communications/Spokesperson

Office of the Prime Minister

Post published in: News

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