Defiant anti Mugabe protest leader Itai Dzamara was today brutally assaulted by members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police in public.
The assault was carried out at the Africa Unity Square in Harare where Dzamara has been leading seat in protests demanding President Robert Mugabe to come and give a reply to a letter delivered to his secretary demanding the president to step down. According to reports more than 20 police officers arrived at Africa Unity Square towards mid day and ordered the otherwise peacefully seated small gathering to disperse.
As the crowd was dispersing the police are said to have fished Dzamara out of the crowd and started assaulting him heavily. His lawyer Kennedy Masiye, from Lawyers from Human Rights tried to intervene and was also dragged into the beating.
"The head of the police team ordered us to leave and immediately started beating us. As the other members of the team started to leave, Dzamara was surrounded by 15 police officers, who prevented him from leaving. They beat him all over the body. Two baton sticks broke during the assault and the police team handcuffed Dzamara. They continued to beat him, while tearing his belt and trousers open," said an eye witness.
Reports indicate that two other colleagues to Dzamara, Tichaona Danho and Tafadzwa Charumbira refused to leave insisting that they stood by Dzamara before they were also dragged into the beatings.
Eye witnesses claim that the police only stopped beating the protesters when Dzamara lost consciousness due to the heavy beatings targeted at his head and shoulders. "The police ordered Danho and Charumbira to carry Dzamara out of the park. The police team continued to beat the unconscious Dzamara and the two colleagues carrying him for 500 metres away from the park," said the witness.
Dzamara and his colleagues are reported to be admitted at a Harare hospital where details of their injuries could not immediately been ascertained.
THis is the second time that Dzamara has been heavily assaulted for masterminding protests against President Mugabe. Last week, the journalist was severely beaten by Zanu-PF hooligans before he was nabbed by Harare police for staging protest marches calling for President Mugabe to step down over the country's comatose economy.
Besides being heavily beaten, Dzamara has been arrested and interrogated several times for his "infamous" project. Despite the arrests, the unstoppable activist has vowed to continue with the protest marches until Mugabe steps down.