Several CCC supporters injured after police raid at Jameson Timba’s house

More than 20 people were seriously injured when police officers descended on a gathering of more than 70 opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) party activists at the home of party leader Jameson Timba in Harare on Sunday afternoon.

Police said the CCC activists were holding an unsanctioned gathering in contravention of the Maintenance of Peace and Order Act.

NewsDay reported sources as saying at least three of the activists require attention from orthopaedic doctors, while more than five fractured their hands in the melee.

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79 people, including Jameson Timba and his son, were arrested. The people were separately put in cells at different police stations, with 58 young activists placed at Harare Central Police Station, while more than 20 were detained at Avondale Police Station.

The activists’ lawyer Agency Gumbo claimed that more than 20 party supporters were injured. He said:

We have more than 20 people that have been confirmed injured by doctors, but the injuries are not severe.

We have people like Jameson Timba, who has a bit of semi-serious injuries because he had a swollen elbow which he got after being beaten by riot police.

We had our doctors come. The doctors looked at them, but obviously because of detention, we can only then be able to have proper X-rays done on them after they are released tomorrow [Tuesday].

Gumbo said when police officers pounced on Timba’s house, they ordered party activists to jump into a swimming pool. He said:

The police arrived at a private residence, at Senator Timba’s residence. When the riot entered, they started asking people to jump into the swimming pool.

This was done regardless of what they had in their pockets, with some having cellphones in their pockets. Everyone was just commanded to jump into the swimming pool.

Some party officials and loyalists had to bring blankets for their colleagues to reduce the impact of the cold night in cells. Said Gumbo:

So that is what was happening. When they arrived at the holding cells, everyone was wet because they had been forced to jump into the pool, which is unethical.

The police arrived and threw tear gas, after that they fired guns in the air.

After that, they bundled everyone and said jump into the swimming pool. We made sure they had blankets.

Of course, that was detention but when we did interviews we made sure everyone had blankets and slept in a proper holding cell. But the people were brutalised.

Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) spokesperson Commissioner Paul Nyathi on Monday confirmed the arrest of Jameson Timba and the other opposition activists. He said:

I can confirm that 70 suspects were arrested at Jameson Timba’s house in Harare for conducting an unsanctioned gathering.

During the arrests, they became violent and started throwing stones at the police officers. Reinforcements were later called in.

According to Gumbo, the CCC activists were attending a private meeting to commemorate the June 16 Youth Day at Timba’s house.

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