Zimbabwe

WATCH: Video of police beating in Zimbabwe sparks outrage

2016-07-10 13:56

Harare  A policeman holds a toddler on his hip. On the floor, a woman wails as the man next to her is beaten on the soles of his feet.

This sickening video clip of riot police in Zimbabwe beating people in their custody has gone viral, causing outrage in its wake.

Many Zimbabweans on social media believe it was filmed after this week's nationwide shutdown although this has been impossible to verify.

More than 200 people have been arrested across the country since protests first erupted in Beitbridge at the beginning of the month.

Among several sites, the video was uploaded to Nehanda TV, which is based in the United Kingdom.

'Torture camp'

Upsetting to watch, the clip shows groups of people sitting on the ground while police officers, some still wearing riot helmets, move around. Policemen are seen hitting up to  six people on the feet with truncheons. One cop was smiling.

"One of the police officers is heard mocking a wailing woman who says she recently had an operation. Another man was forced to carry a boulder on his head," The Standard newspaper said on Sunday.

Journalist Ezra Sibanda said on Facebook that the video had been taken by a police officer. It seems to have been taken from inside a truck where several people were shown lying face down.

Evan Mawarire, the founder of the #ThisFlag movement which supported Wednesday's stay-away said, "Video of cops beating a defenseless woman as police chef (officer) holds her child is not being a policeman. THAT IS PURE EVIL! But Why?? #ThisFlag"

Newspaper publisher, Trevor Ncube, said: "Shocking video. Looks like Zim torture camp."

There are growing calls for the officers in the clip to be identified and charged. There's also anger that President Robert Mugabe's government accuses those who participated in the stay-away of planning violence when Zimbabwe police appear to use or have used violence.

Barbaric and inhuman

There is also some speculation that the video may have been deliberately leaked to spark fear in Zimbabweans.

Anger is growing in the southern African country on the back of new import controls, cash shortages, the imminent introduction of bond notes and police heavy-handedness, especially at roadblocks.

The authorities, however, say the country's enemies are provoking unrest on social media. The home affairs minister, Ignatius Chombo, told the Sunday Mail the US and French ambassadors to Zimbabwe "helped engineer [the] civil disturbances".

The minister was quoted as saying the duty of police was "to maintain law and order and they will carry out this task with their full might".

There's been no official comment yet from the authorities on the video itself. But a Zimbabwean on Twitter who claims to be a policeman, Lloyd Nechipani, tweeted: "What should the police do when people are so aggressive and are vandalizing??????"

Businessman and churchman, @ShingiMunyeza, said, "This is barbaric, inhuman, totally unacceptable violence and brutality. LORD HAVE MERCY ON US AND HEAL OUR LAND!"

Watch the video below:

Read more on:    zimbabwe

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