POLICE in riot gear on Saturday accidentally struck a baby with a truncheon in Chiredzi barely two days after the world commemorated Human Rights Day on Thursday last week.
The 11-month-old baby was struck by the police while strapped on its mother’s back.
The mother was trying to gain entry into Tshovani Stadium to attend a wedding when the incident happened.
This was after thousands of people thronged the stadium to witness the wedding of Chiredzi-born self-styled comedian Douglas Zvarevashe, who tied the knot with Noria Mutepfu.
The wedding was organised by Zanu PF bigwigs, including Chiredzi West MP Farai Musikavanhu, and was sponsored by businessman James Charumbira.
The mob that was being targeted by the police witnessed one of the officers accidentally striking the baby with a baton.
As a result, they started throwing stones, accusing the police of lacking professionalism.
This led to running battles between the police and the mob, which left several people nursing injuries.
The event attracted thousands of people who crammed the stadium, violating COVID-19 regulations which stipulate that a wedding should not be attended by people exceeding 100.
This led the organisers to seek the assistance of police to disperse the crowd.
When this reporter arrived at the venue, the police threatened to beat him up, before barring him from entering the stadium.
He was only released after the intervention of the ZRP press and liaison officer, Assistant Inspector Tawanda Siziba.
The woman, whose baby was beaten, was whisked away by the police.
Chiredzi ZRP Chief Superintendent Shengedzani Muleya said the police must act professionally, adding that the public should not disturb the law enforcement agents whenever they are performing their duties.
“As police in Chiredzi, we have a good working relationship with journalists and such overzealous behaviour should be condemned,” she said.
National police spokesperson Paul Nyathi said he was yet to receive such a report.
The condition of the baby could not be established by the time of going to print last night as efforts to locate the woman and her baby proved fruitless.-NEWSDAY