Zimbabwe police beat opposition protesters

Harare - Zimbabwe police beat and arrested opposition activists and a journalist during a rally on Monday, witnesses said, as regional leaders met for a key summit.

Harare riot police used batons to break up a demonstration by youth from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) demanding that veteran President Robert Mugabe deliver on his pre-election promise to create two million jobs.

The protest came as leaders from the Southern African Development Community - a 15-member bloc - met in the resort town of Victoria Falls for an annual summit, which elected Mugabe chair.

"The newly appointed SADC chairperson Robert Mugabe crushed jobless youth in Harare today," Clifford Hlatshwayo, spokesperson for the MDC youth wing who was present, told AFP.

Police were not immediately available to comment.

A reporter from the privately-owned Zimbabwe Mail said her colleague, photo journalist Angela Jimu, was also beaten by police at the Harare rally and had two of her cameras and a mobile phone confiscated.

"We were covering the demonstration by MDC youths when police started beating the protesters," the reporter said.

SADC democracy impressive

"When the police realised that Angela was taking pictures, they beat her with batons... They took her to central police station together with several others. I could see she was in pain."

Constantine Chimakure, editor of the Zimbabwe Mail, later confirmed that journalist Angela Jimu was arrested.

Rights groups last week urged the southern African countries at the SADC meeting to address abuses and uphold individual freedoms in their countries.

Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights deplored "serious human rights concerns" in Angola, Malawi, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

They accused Harare of dragging its feet in prosecuting perpetrators of political violence, and denounced secrecy around mining rights and the country's lucrative diamond fields.

Mugabe, in his maiden speech as chair of the meeting, said the SADC prided itself on having an impressive track record on matters of peace, security and democracy.

Lovemore Lynoxx Marikopo 2014/08/18 05:49:46 PM
busy reporting about zimbabwe for its mess.i dont we have finished about marikana and the abusive of southafrica police
Douglas Ross 2014/08/18 05:58:30 PM
The future of RSA
Motho Fela 2014/08/18 06:01:59 PM
The people of Zimbabwe can change their country for good if they want, protest and remove that Rubbish Mugabe, people of Egypt, Libia and Gunisia did it. Black man oppressing his own Black people and blame white people for that. Unless the people take up guns and Spears you will always be oppressed by Mugabe and his family.
Sokhela Sakhile 2014/08/18 06:46:10 PM
The media can dilute and confuse ppls brains now they (media) say zim has lucrative mineral resources that's strange I thought according to them zimbabwe is the poorest country in africa but since I've been there as well as othe african countries it seem like a lie to me cos ruwand and uganda seem to be struggling then zimbabwe.
Conelius Mandengu 2014/08/18 07:25:29 PM
Which country is not struggling ,only the media knows they want you to believe
Kennedy Bunga 2014/08/18 08:30:19 PM
Blind Patriotism
Slapp Nutt 2014/08/18 08:45:14 PM
Why can't u skunks leave our Zimbabwe alone. all countries have their own problems .Y our cops killed people in Marikana Dd anyone make noise, the Americans cops shot and killed an unarmed black kid 8 times last week, did anyone make noise about it.
Lloyd Mandiwa 2014/08/19 12:14:22 PM
Mr Matho Fela i am a Zimbabwean man not a fan of Mugabe or his policies but just by reading your comments shows me how myopic South African black people can be i am also not a fan of julius Malema but with such shallow comments from you its clear why we need black extremists like him in South Africa honestly how can a "normal man" say Egypt did it and Lybia did it what continent are you on??What did they do are these countries better off today??And what guns and spears are you suggesting ??have you ever lived in a worn torn country??I am not talking about toyi toyi and vuvuzelaz this is africa not south africa you guys are so detached from reality its amazing
Michael Kleber 2014/08/20 07:13:45 AM
The human rights abuse in zimbabwe knows no bounds , yet our govt does not say a word , what is happening in zim affects this country with 4 million refugees , yet nothing is said its accepted , but the israeli palestine issue which has very little affect on SA is a big issue here , double standards ?