ZRP responds to Mandava incident, 15 arrested

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The Zimbabwe Republic Police has issued a statement on the violent scenes that marred the Premier Soccer League game between FC Platinum and Highlanders.

The incident occurred when referee Kuzivakwamwari Jaravaza awarded the hosts a penalty in the 82nd minute, after Peter Muduwa was adjudged to have fouled Walter Musona in the box.

Highlanders players protested the decision and their fans responded by invading the pitch targeting one of the assistant referees.

Police details were quickly deployed and a protracted standoff led to the firing of tear gas inside the stadium.

The battles continued outside the ground, while the players and officials sought sanctuary in the dressing rooms.

The match commissioner was then forced to end the game before fulltime.

While Highlanders blamed the police, the ZRP said about fifteen Bosso supporters have since been arrested following the incident.

ZRP’s report on the incident reads: “…As the Highlanders captain Ariel Sibanda, marshals and the police were engaging with the Highlanders supporters to calm down, the Highlanders Team manager Vezigama Dlodlo [NFPK] withdrew the captain and when the players were about to resume playing, the Highlanders supporters became more provoked and the situation degenerated into violence.

“The Highlanders supporters intensified throwing missiles, invaded the pitch and tore advertisement bill boards. They also started throwing missiles at FC Platinum supporters on the western grand stand.

“One Police Dog Ceaser, number PD1215 on deployment from Gweru Canine was struck by a stone. The Police Dog sustained minor injuries and is limping.

“FC platinum team bus, Scania, green in colour registration mark FC Plats was struck with a stone on its right side window panel. It was parked behind VIP grand stand. The bus sustained a shattered right side window panel consisting of a large hole in the middle of the panel.”

The report continues: “A total of 15 accused persons were arrested and detained for “disorderly conduct as defined in section 41 of the Criminal law [Codification and Reform] Chapter 9.23. ZRP Zvishavane 1049/22-1063/22 refers. See Annexture “A” attached.”