POLICE BREAK UP PRAYER MEETING
Zimbabwean police attacked 400 women who had gathered for an all-night prayer meeting on the eve of Election Day and severely assaulted them. 38 were severely injured and hospitalised. The focus of the women’s prayer meeting was to pray for peace.
MASS ARRESTS AND DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY
After the elections more than 18,000 people were arrested and thousands of people left homeless as their homes and businesses, in the informal settlements, were razed to the ground by Zimbabwean police. Operation “Restore Order” was understood to be in retaliation for the residents of these informal settlements on the outskirts of the capital city, Harare, having voted overwhelmingly for the opposition MDC in the 31 March polls. Armoured troop carriers patrolled the suburbs of Harare as the army was mobilised to suppress mounting public anger. Battles were fought between police and informal traders, with the police under orders to use live ammunition against civilians attempting to resist.