Mugabe’s supporters assault MPs and journalists
Posted Sunday, July 24 2011 at 18:19
Supporters of President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party on Sunday assaulted an MP and four journalists as they disrupted a parliamentary committee receiving submissions on a proposed human rights law.
Journalists who were caught in the mayhem said a crowd of more than 200 Zanu PF supporters stormed the parliament building singing revolutionary songs.
A woman reportedly attacked an MP from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party accusing him of not singing the national anthem.
The legislator was dragged out of the building and was repeatedly assaulted. Journalists from privately owned newspapers were also locked inside the building and heavily assaulted.
One journalist was reportedly injured in the pandemonium. The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) said police who loyal to Mugabe did nothing to stop the militants.
“Eventually the mob left the building and spent considerable time dancing and protesting outside parliament,” ZLHR said in a statement.
“Police did nothing to disperse the crowd even when they attacked vehicles and members of the public who were passing by.”
A similar meeting in the southern city of Masvingo was abandoned on Thursday after the Zanu PF supporters turned rowdy.
MPs say Zanu PF is not happy with the proposed law because it seeks to deal with human rights violations dating back to the country’s independence in 1980.
Mugabe deployed the army in the southern parts of the country which killed more than 20 000 civilians. His party is also accused of perpetrating political violence in previous elections.