Pamela Shumba Senior Reporter
POLICE are investigating allegations of brutality involving some of their officers after a video circulating on social media, showing rioters being beaten. National police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba yesterday said it was possible that the video could have been doctored by merchants of regime change, bent on stirring up anger against the force.
“We have not received a formal report but there’s a video circulating on social media showing police officers beating up people. We’re investigating the issue as we try to establish the authenticity of the video.
“We, however, can’t rule out a possibility that the video could have been manufactured by perpetrators of violence to make people angry and incite violence,” said Snr Asst Comm Charamba.
She said police are prepared for more disturbances being planned by unruly elements and sponsored by external forces in the country. This follows messages that have been circulating on the social media, announcing a “shut-down” tomorrow and Thursday, as a sign of protest against the government.
Dubbed the #ZimShutDown 2016, last week’s protests rode on the civil servants’ strike to cause chaos in Bulawayo and Harare.
“We’re ready for any disturbances that might take place in any part of the country. It’s our mandate as police to make sure that that there’s peace and order in the country,” said Snr Asst Comm Charamba.
Shadowy groups have been circulating the messages and videos through Whatsapp and Facebook and yesterday said that they were planning “another shut-down.” Last week, police arrested scores of people for staging the illegal demonstrations in various parts of the country, including 14 white Zimbabweans and a Belgian national who were apprehended in Victoria Falls.
In Bulawayo a total of 86 men, including juveniles appeared in a court facing charges of engaging in violent demonstrations and looting from a supermarket in Bulawayo last week on Wednesday. Touts and rank marshals also protested against heavy traffic police presence on the roads.
The protests coincided with the United States Ambassador Mr Harry Thomas’ unwarranted remarks inciting Zimbabweans to stage what he termed peaceful demonstrations.
Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Permanent Secretary Mr George Charamba told the US and French administrations to stop lecturing Zimbabwe about civil rights and democratic practices that are not even accepted by their own systems.
This was after evidence gathered by the government showed that Mr Thomas and his French counterpart Mr Laurent Delahouse had a hand in civil disturbances that rocked Harare and Bulawayo last week as part of their regime change agenda.