ROWDY soldiers on Friday night indiscriminately assaulted women revellers in pubs and night clubs in Harare’s central business district (CBD), injuring some of them.
Report by Our Staff
Some of the women said they reported the unprovoked assaults at Harare Central Police Station.
The women said the soldiers stormed Barca Sports Club along Mbuya Nehanda Street and started beating them up without asking any questions.
An official at the club, who requested anonymity for fear of victimisation, said the soldiers stormed the entertainment spot late into the night.
“They came in around midnight and beat up all women they met,” said the official. “We were shocked to see them storm into the bar and we went to Central Police Station where we reported the matter.”
The official, who preferred anonymity, said they met several women and other bar managers who had also come to make similar complaints at the police station.
The soldiers also brutalised security guards at City Sports Bar, another entertainment joint along Kaguvi Street after they failed to gain access into the bar.
“Our gate system cannot let in anyone without a ticket so when the guards called me with the complaint the first assumption was that they had a misunderstanding when they failed to gain entry,” said Lawrence Chinoperekwei of City Sports Bar.
The soldiers also beat up women outside Hotel Elizabeth where they left a number with injuries.
In the past week, soldiers and the police have been terrorising civilians after clashing with touts who were accused of beating two uniformed soldiers in the CBD.
Police spokesperson Chief Inspector James Sabau yesterday said he could not comment on the issue as he had not received any such reports.
Army director of public relations, Alphios Makotore professed ignorance of the matter and asked The Standard to submit questions without providing his email address or fax number.
This is not the first time that women have been persecuted in bars in Harare. A few months ago, the police went around arresting women accusing them of soliciting for prostitution, a move that caught the ire of women’s organisations and human rights activists.