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POLICE RECOVERED 210 ANTI-RIOT AND 46 MUICIPAL POLICE HELMETS , stones, bricks and sticks believed to be earmarked for use in street violence. from Robinson House basement at the corner of Kwame Nkrumah Avenue and Angwa Street in Harare on Saturday. The cache was stumbled upon after police chasing a group of ‘MDC-Alliance marshals’ that had attacked a police officer who had allegedly been waiting for his relative at the building.
MDC-Alliance marshals allegedly control the area near Harvest House, the MDC party’s headquarters, and usually attack motorists and citizens going about their business in the area..
According to the National police spokesman Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi , the police attempted to assist the poor officer but the rowdy ‘MDC youths’ only retreated into the basement after additional reinforcements arrived.
“Some officers who were nearby came to intervene but were also attacked, forcing them to call for back-up from Harare Central Police Station. When the hooligans saw that they were now being overpowered, they ran into the basement with the officers in pursuit.
“It was during the chase that they came across the helmets stashed in one of the rooms in the basement,” Asst Comm Nyathi said.
So far, 12 people have since been arrested in connection with the incident, Helton Tamangani (29), Evans Chinganga (39), Tichaona Maziya (22), Petros Kaesa (44), Adoration Tafadzwa Madziwa (23), Lovemore Chitengo(42), Terrence Nyadundu (24), Robson Mutseta (31), Hillary Nyawasha (29), Wambo Denford (41), Blessing Chirodza (41) and David Tawanda Tedere (35).”
The Herald visited the scene in the company of the police, and saw heaps of stones and broken bricks stashed in some of the rooms in the basement.
The building’s caretaker (name withheld) said the helmets had been brought by one of the tenants.
“There is a young man who is a tenant here whom I saw carrying these helmets in his vehicle about two months ago but I did not see him entering the basement,” he said.
The caretaker said the stones and bricks had been stashed by the youths.
“These youths are violent and are always going in and out of the basement at will and at one time they even attacked me for no reason.”
People operating within the vicinity of the building called deploy officers around the building.
“We are afraid to conduct our business here because of the unpredictable nature of these youths who are activists from the opposition who are using this building the base for their operations.
“People are always being beaten here by these youths, law enforcement agents should close this basement because it is now a security concern. We are glad that their hideout has finally been discovered,” said one of the people before driving off. herald
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Photo-herald-Zimbabwe Republic Police Assistant Commissioner Joshua Kadungu (Crime and Operations Harare) looks at helmets that were recovered in Harare yesterday.