Harare - Hundreds of protesters clashed with illegal street money dealers and the Zimbabwean police on Friday, in Harare demonstrating against the illegal money-changing business which they blamed for further straining the economy which is already on a free-fall.
The protesters, under Tajamuka/Sesijikile, clashed with the police, as the law enforcers tried to quell the disturbances, after the demonstrators smashed the front screen and side windshields of a brand new Zanu PF youth league vehicle.
The anti-riot police fired rubber-coated bullets as well as tear gas to disperse the protesters, who broke into shops.They went on a rampage looting and beating up depositors standing in bank queues.
The protesters were demanding that Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya steps down, the scrapping of the surrogate currency, bond notes, and that the First Family stops lavish spending at a time many are finding it difficult to go through a day.
“We cannot continue pretending. Mangudya must resign. The bond notes must go as well,” one of the protesters shouted.
At present, the bond notes are being rated against any other currency available, and the rates keep changing by the day.
The Zimbabwe Independent on Friday carried a story saying First Lady Grace Mugabe had splurged almost R6 million (about US$444 000) on a brand new Rolls-Royce Ghost model.
Almost two weeks ago, her son, Russell Goreraza, made headlines when he took delivery of two Rolls-Royce vehicles.
During Friday’s demonstration, two journalists from the privately-owned Daily News, Mugove Tafirenyika and Brighton Goko, were beaten up. The two had to seek treatment at a private hospital located near the South African embassy.
“I was just doing my job with my press card around my neck, but they [police] did not care,” Tafirenyika said, with his head and T-shirt covered in blood.
“I’m in pain. They beat me up in the head.”