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Zanu PF Activists Facing Charges of Violence, Arson Linked to Nationwide Protests

FILE: Supporters of Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa celebrate in Harare, Friday, August, 24, 2018.

Some ruling ZANU PF leaders have appeared in court facing charges of violence and arson during nationwide protests that left several people dead, hundreds injured and others displaced.

Zanu PF youth leader for Ward 40 in Whitecliff Benson Bhobho appeared in court Wednesday together with his colleagues Charles Bengeza, Shylock Chihuri, Emmanuel Chari, Cassim Muzhingi, Noleen and Rumbidzai Dulana.

The state claims that they set on fire a state-owned bus belonging to the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company on Monday.

They then allegedly went to Whitehouse Shopping Center along the Harare-Bulawayo Road where they barricaded the highway with boulders, burnt tyres and threw missiles at motorists.

The accused stopped a ZUPCO bus which they set on fire.

Thousands of Zimbabweans heeded a call by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions to stage a three-day protest over the high cost of living in the country.

Some people looted shops and destroyed property worth millions of dollars.

Reacting to the protests, the Zimbabwean government deployed soldiers and the police in Bulawayo, Harare and other cities where protesters staged barricaded main roads.

The ruling Zanu PF party claims that the protests were led by the Movement for Democratic Change led by Nelson Chamisa in an effort to unseat a constitutionally-elected government.

The MDC has dismissed the claims saying people were forced by circumstances beyond their control to stage the protests.