Barbourfields Stadium fracas: 12 people, including a gun-totting couple, arrested

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12 arrested over soccer violence in Bulawayo

The Zimbabwe Republic Police have arrested 12 people in relation to violent clashes that broke out during a soccer match last weekend. The match between Dynamos and Highlanders was played at Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo on Sunday.

According to police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi, four individuals have been charged with criminal nuisance while six face charges of public violence. Additionally, a couple was arrested for bringing a pistol into the stadium in violation of firearms laws. Some suspects were apprehended on Monday, while others were arrested yesterday. They will all appear in court soon.

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The violence during the match left at least eight people injured, including four police officers. Three police vehicles were also damaged. Assistant Commissioner Nyathi condemned all acts of public violence and assured the public that police investigations are ongoing.

He noted that police at the stadium initially tried to defuse tensions through cooperation with event marshals. This prevented a panic from erupting among fans. Officers later evacuated players, officials and VIPs safely before using tear gas outside the venue to disperse a crowd that was throwing objects.

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Last week, Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga had cautioned against unruly behaviour at sporting events. He pledged that police would decisively deal with hooliganism and criminality aimed at destabilizing the nation. Investigations also continue into social media posts inciting unlawful activities and disturbances.

As the law enforcement response to the stadium clashes remains active, Assistant Commissioner Nyathi appealed for any additional information that can help police further their accounting of suspects.


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