Crowd protests against Mugabe in WC clash at Bulawayo

Published: Saturday, March 1, 2003, 2:29 [IST]
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Bulawayo: Part of the crowd at the Zimbabwe vs Netherlands World Cup match on Friday unfurled banners and sang protest songs aimed at the regime of President Robert Mugabe. A banner reading 'Mugabe equals Hitler' was displayed in the 3,000-strong crowd while, moments later, two men, one black and one white, ran alongside the banking of the Queens Sports Club carrying another sign claiming 'Zimbabwe Needs Justice.'

Some spectators started to sing as around ten police officers moved in to confiscate the banners. One of the crowds said the words to the song meant: 'We hate what you are doing to us.' Despite the police presence, one of the fans said, "As far as I can tell there were no arrests."

The protest was picked up by the TV cameras inside the ground. The mood of defiance was bolstered when Henry Olonga, dropped from the starting line- up because of his black armband protest against Mugabe, appeared as a substitute fielder taking the place, ironically, of fellow protestor Andy Flower who was injured. Copyright AFP 2001

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