Violence rocked the Harare central business district late yesterday evening after police officers allegedly shot and reportedly killed a bystander after engaging in running battles with kombi drivers.
Eyewitnesses reported that at around 6 pm, a police officer tried to apprehend a commuter omnibus driver who was resisting arrest.
When the commuter omnibus driver resisted arrest, the officer drew out a pistol to fire a warning shot. The shot went astray, hitting a man who was walking along the pavement.
The same police officer reportedly fired another shot, which hit a roasted maize vendor, who was heavily pregnant.
Members of the public then besieged Harare Central Police Charge Office, where they wanted to lay a charge against the officers, triggering riotous scenes.
They started throwing rocks at the police and vehicles parked outside the police station. In the ensuing melee, a car was burnt and another vehicle also caught flames. The police responded by firing teargas to disperse the mob.
The incident took place barely a few hours after local government, public works and national works minister July Moyo reversed Harare City Council’s decision to ban kombis in town in a move codenamed Operation Restore Order.
The move saw commuters walking on foot, some for more than 5km, to get to the central business district.