Police arrested after teargassing loaded bus
Seven police officers who risked the lives of dozens after firing tear gas canisters into a loaded bus parked outside the Harare Exhibition Park on Monday have been arrested.
The law enforcement agents threw teargas canisters into a bus filled with people including women and children putting the lives of dozens at risk of asphyxiation.
Videos captured by on lookers showed passengers scurrying to get off a smoking bus.
Some risked breaking their limbs as the jumped out of windows with the offending police officers looking on.
The Ministry of Information, Publicity, and Broadcasting services said Government had been shocked by the incident.
“Government has been made aware of an incident at Harare Showground’s where a team of 7 officers have been arrested for deploying tear smoke in an occupied bus,” the ministry said via their official twitter handle.
“They will face charges. The crew of the bus has also been arrested as the bus in question was being driven by a tout,” the ministry said.
Tear gas is a chemical weapon that causes severe eye and respiratory pain, skin irritation, bleeding, and blindness.
Exposure to tear gas agents may produce numerous short-term and long-term health effects.
Police spokesperson Paul Nyathi told state media in the aftermath of the incident that the offending police details will face the full process of the law.
“We have also arrested the bus crew because the driver had handed over the bus to the conductor or tout to drive,” he said.
“They were driving up and down, acting as if the bus was about to leave for Bulawayo when in actual fact they were just trying to attract passengers.”
Nyathi said “we assuring the public that we have taken action against the officers. The law is very clear: There are situations where officers can use tear smoke. And there are others where they are not supposed to; like the one which occurred (on Monday). We have taken action and I mean it when I say we have taken action.”
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