- “It’s the usual opposition histrionics and dramatics. Nelson Chamisa tried to have a rally in Dombotombo Clinic, disrupting the delivery of care to the sick people there,” he said
PERMANENT Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Nick Mangwana, has accused MDC president Nelson Chamisa of disrupting the delivery of care to the patients of Dombotombo Clinic in Marondera for his party’s unsactioned rally, leading to police officers firing tear gas canisters to disperse the MDC officials and their supporters.
Both Nelson Chamisa himself and the MDC MP for Marondera Central, Caston Matewu, took to social media and claimed that live bullets were used party leaders and supporters while Chamisa was conducting a tree-planting ceremony.
Posting on social media Sunday evening, Chamisa said he and other leaders had to duck for cover behind their vehicles as live bullets whizzled through the air. However, by Monday morning, he had apparently deleted the tweet.
But Mangwana dismissed that version of events, saying: “What we are dealing with here is attention-seeking theatrics we have come to expect from an opposition which is devoid of ideas and political programmes.
“It’s the usual opposition histrionics and dramatics. Nelson Chamisa tried to have a rally in Dombotombo Clinic, disrupting the delivery of care to the sick people there,” he said.
“Police were called in. At this point there were kombis full of rowdy people who were very aggressive. They started surging towards the police in an aggressive way. Police deployed tear smoke to disperse the people. There was no use of firearms and none of the police details was armed with live ammunition,” he said.
Police also dismissed as false reports that they had fired at the MDC supporters, saying no police officer at the venue possessed live ammunition or rubber bullets.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said: “The Zimbabwe Republic Police dismisses allegations that live rounds of rubber bullets were used or fired when police officers in Marondera dispersed MDC supporters and activists this afternoon who had illegally gathered at Dombotombo Clinic and some leaders attempted to address the gathering without following the laid down notification procedures in terms of the law.
“Police only used tear smoke to disperse the gathering and politicians, with some who had been transported in kombis openly refusing to comply with lawful orders which had been given by the police.”
After the incident, MDC leaders and supporters took to social media claiming that police had used live ammunition to disperse the gathering.
They posted a video clip which seemed to suggest that there were gunshots. The authenticity of the video could not be established.