The Zimbabwe Republic Police says it regrets the death of two people and the injury of four in Harare Central Business District when police clashed with commuters yesterday.
Speaking at a press conference, ZRP Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga expressed his sincere condolences to the bereaved families and relatives who lost their loved ones in the skirmishes yesterday.
Commissioner General Matanga says the ZRP is currently looking into the matter and will leave no stone unturned in its investigations to get to the bottom of the matter.
“From the onset, let me categorically state that the Zimbabwe Republic Police is currently seized with the matter and I have since directed a team of expert investigators to extensively establish the cause, what transpired, who was responsible and action will be taken,” he said.
He said perpetrators will be brought to book and there will be no sacred cows, adding that the ZRP does not tolerate any form of violence.
Commissioner General Matanga blamed the incident on a rowdy crowd which attacked the police officers whilst they were doing an operation with the Harare City Council to decongest the CBD.
He said the police officers had been deployed together with other security agencies in support of efforts by Harare City Council to decongest the city centre of commuter omnibuses and Mushikashika.
Commissioner General Matanga said at the time the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Cde July Moyo issued a statement reversing the ban on commuter omnibuses entering the CBD, the deployed police officers were not aware of the change in circumstances.
He said interim investigations had revealed that the public had attacked the police officers and threatened them with stones resulting in the officers firing warning shots which failed to disperse the angry crowd.
“A team of police officers from Harare Central was confronted by an angry mob armed with stones, concrete pillars and rods. The crowd started to throw stones at police officers whilst demanding to know why they had earlier on dispersed them alongside Harare Municipal police,” said Commissioner General Matanga.
The police officers then fired live shots which unfortunately killed 2 people.
The police refused to entertain any questions from the press and referred journalists to the Harare City Council.
The police chief said the bodies of the yet to be identified deceased are at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals Mortuary. – ZBC