Teargas fired at CCC rally in Masvingo
MASVINGO – The atmosphere turned tense at a Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) rally held at Mamutse Stadium in Masvingo as anti-riot police fired teargas canisters into the crowd shortly after party leader Nelson Chamisa concluded his address. The incident unfolded moments after Chamisa left the stage, engulfing the nearby suburbs of Old Railways and Chesvingo in a haze of choking smoke.
Initial reports indicate that the commotion ignited as some top police officers attempted to intervene after the rally’s allocated time slot had reportedly lapsed. The officers’ efforts were met with resistance from Chamisa’s security personnel and fervent supporters who formed a human shield around the podium. Tempers flared, leading to a brief retreat of the police.
However, the police returned armed with teargas canisters, truncheons, and aggressive dogs, facing off against unyielding CCC supporters. The incident underscored a brewing clash between the opposing forces, reflecting the heightened tensions leading up to the upcoming elections on the 23rd of this month.
Police spokesperson Paul Nyathi stated that the CCC had deviated from the rally’s scheduled time, leading to clashes between the police and supporters. He indicated that the rally, originally set from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, commenced around 4:45 PM with Chamisa’s address. Following an hour of engagement, the police were compelled to act after CCC’s leadership acknowledged their non-compliance with the rally notification times.
The police asserted that the crowd became unruly, resorting to violence by pelting police officers with stones and posing a threat to police vehicles. In light of these developments, the police resorted to using teargas to disperse the crowd. Nyathi underscored that this measure was executed with utmost care for public safety, resulting in no injuries to the public or property damage.