Police assault residents in Glen View and Budiriro
By Tererai Karimakwenda
05 April, March 2007
Riot police units that had been patrolling the streets of the high-density areas of Budiriro and Glen View on Wednesday attacked local residents as the second day of the strike organized by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) came to an end. The residents said police accused them of piling up rocks and debris to block minibuses from taking workers to their jobs. It is not clear whether any arrests were made or if residents were injured. Both areas were reported to be tense on Thursday.
Glen View has been the scene of several shootings and was the home of Gift Tandare, the opposition activist who was shot and killed by police when they blocked a prayer rally in Highfield last month. Residents say the area has not been safe since.
Our Harare correspondent Simon Muchemwa said the opposition MPs that represent Glen View and Budiriro are both very young and energetic. The police accuse them of mobilising the youth in their constituencies to set up illegal roadblocks. This is why MP Madzore and MP Chisvuure are being targeted. Muchemwa also said there were skirmishes in many other areas around the country that are not being reported because residents are too afraid to speak out in the face of the brutal attacks that have been happening.
Meanwhile on Thursday the government announced that it would deal with businesses that had closed during the stay-away, accusing them of siding with the ZCTU organizers and the opposition. Minister of Industry Obert Mpofu said a list of what he described as "mostly white-owned companies that chose to side with organisers of the stayaway" was being compiled. He gave all the companies that closed Tuesday and Wednesday just 24 hours to explain why they had done so. The minister did not specify how he planned to deal with these companies. Muchemwa said this harassment of white-owned businesses will lead to more of them relocating to neighbouring countries.