NINETEEN police recruits, who went on the rampage and indiscriminately assaulted people in Harare’s central business district on Friday night have been arrested.
The 19 were escorted to the Harare magistrates Court yesterday, but their case was not heard with indications that investigations into the violence were still underway.
Police spokesperson Paul Nyathi said the suspects would face the wrath of the law.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police confirms that investigations are currently underway in connection with the unruly conduct exhibited by some police recruits,” Nyathi said in a statement.
“The commissioner-general of police (Godwin Matanga) does not condone violent behaviour by any police officer and assures the public of the professionalism of police officers as they interact with the people of Zimbabwe and visitors.”
The junior police officers assaulted people in the CBD using sjamboks and booted feet and it is not yet clear what triggered the violence.
They also caused the closure of some fast food outlets and bars around the city centre. There were fears that the junior cops had been deployed to test the general mood in the country ahead of the Wednesday election.
Other reports said this was an attempt to intimidate people against attending Citizens Coalition for Change leader Nelson Chamisa’s final rally scheduled for Harare tomorrow.
Tomorrow is the last day for political parties to hold rallies before the election.
Urban areas such as Harare are considered to be strongholds for the opposition.
After the 2018 elections, six people were killed in Harare after soldiers who were deployed to the capital’s streets to quell protests over delays in the release of presidential poll results shot at fleeing people.
A commission of inquiry led by former South African president Kgalema Montlanthe recommended the prosecution of members of the security forces that were behind the killings, but no one has been brought to justice five years later