A resemblance of the 2016, #thisflag/ #tajamuka demonstrations has engulfed Harare, as the cholera war which sucked in and pitted police against vendors, seemingly turns political.

Has the cholera battle, which began in earnest turned political? This was the question asked  by many in Harare late into evening on Friday, as the police indiscriminately attacked anyone in sight, despite one being a vendor or not.

“While, the removing of vendors at this point and time when the nation is making efforts to contain this water borne killer disease is justifiable, it is this wanton attacking of shoppers and pedestrians by police that has irritated us, as if the town is under a curfew,” said one Belgravia resident who was caught in the crossfire late Friday.

The resident who declined to be named, told this news crew, that it was inhumane for the police to haphazardly go on a rampage tear-gassing and beating up anyone in sight, as if it has become a political vendetta.

“Why should a police force people out of a kombi and start beating them up. It that still about fighting vendors/ or cholera? I sense an act of political over-zealous in their actions, and it seems to be an order from their bosses,” he added.

Another Harare resident from Queensdale, Joram Kaduro says it is indeed regrettable for the police to roundly beat anyone within their baton sticks’ reach.

“Remember what happened three days after the 1 August killings, vendors woke up to a shock of their shelters having had been burnt the night before, while in the next morning the police from the anti-riot section went on clearing vendors from the streets of Harare,” he said.

In a related matter, on Friday the police in Harare arrested #tajamuka leader Promise Mkwananzi  after he held a press conference in which he lambasted the authorities for meting  violence on vendors.

A charge for allegedly inciting public violence is being leveled against him. Mkwananzi a pro-democracy campaigner is getting legal assistance from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human rights.

Mkwananzi’s arrest has so far been viewed as a violation of his right to freedom of expression.

However, while some believe there is nothing political about the clearing and the attacking of vendors, for having had turned the streets of Harare into an eyesore. It is this indiscriminate attacks and the heavy-handedness by the authorities that has irked residents.

Meanwhile, the government and the local authority’s position is that all vendors should conduct their business in designated places. Many Zimbabweans have been forced into the informal sector, owing to the failing economy, and are currently dogged between a rock and a hard place in an attempt to survive.