Harare – Zimbabwean riot police clashed with opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai's supporters who had gathered to welcome him back home after a month-long hospital stay in South Africa, reports said on Friday.
According to New Zimbabwe, the mostly youthful Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) supporters had gathered at the party headquarters in Harare on Thursday morning to welcome their leader.
Speaking to the crowd, Tsvangirai said he was back and feeling better, adding that the struggle should continue.
"I am now well, I am back at work and the struggle continues," Tsvangirai was quoted as saying.
However, just barely a few minutes into his speech, anti-riot police arrived with two water cannon trucks, telling the crowd to disperse.
The defiant youth, however, refused to go, prompting the police to use teargas and water cannon to disperse them.
Reports indicated that the Zimbabwean police had been on full alert throughout the capital Harare after the recent release of Pastor Evan Mawarire.
Mawarire was the advocate of the recent riots that had engulfed the southern African country, with protesters demanding that the government act on the ongoing economic hardships.
The country came to an abrupt standstill after Zimbabweans downed tools last week on Wednesday.
Many businesses, shops, and schools were closed, while public transport and some government departments and courts also ceased to function.
Following the successful stayaway last week, the organisers of the event called for a similar event on Wednesday and Thursday this week. However, according to reports, the calls for the shutdown were not heeded.
Meanwhile, according to NewsDay, Tsvangirai was expected to have a press briefing on Friday.
- News 24