Street fighting broke out in Salisbury on Wednesday (9 July) between supporters of the two black political parties in Zimbabwe's coalition government.
GV Patriotic Front demonstrators proceeding along street with security forces in foreground (2 shots)
CU Banner reading "Nkala People Want Democracy and Peace"
SVs Demonstrators dancing around with banners (2 shots)
SV Demonstrators passing ZANU (PF) head-quarters
CU ZANU poster showing Robert Mugabe PULL BACK TO SV demonstrators
SVs Demonstrators in street fighting with opponents
SV Demonstrators in running fight down street and policeman disperses them
SV Car drawing up, Joshua Nkomo emerges, and enters building
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Background: Street fighting broke out in Salisbury on Wednesday (9 July) between supporters of the two black political parties in Zimbabwe's coalition government. The clash took place after two hundred supporters of Home Affairs Minister, Joshua Nkomo had demonstrated against Mr. Enos Nkala, a senior member of Prime Minister Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party, who has criticised Mr. Nkomo in public.
SYNOPSIS: The Nkomo supporters, members of his Patriotic Front (PF) party, gathered outside the Parliament building to voice their protest against Mr. Nkala. The demonstration followed a speech in Bulawayo by Mr. Nkala, who is Zimbabwe's Finance Minister, when he said that the aim of the ruling ZANU (PF) party was "to crush Joshua Nkomo and forget all about him". He called Mr. Nkomo a "self-appointed Ndebele King". Tension between the two parties has sharpened considerably in the last week. The two political factions are traditionally divided on tribal lines: between Mr. Nkomo's predominantly Ndebele supporters and the Shona-speaking groups which support Mr. Mugabe.
After the demonstration, Mr. Nkomo's chanting supporters marched past Mr. Mugabe's ZANU-PF office in central Salisbury. Another reason for their anger was Mr. Nkala's recent suggestion that a one-party state be introduced.
The stragglers were set upon by ZANU-PF party workers and three men were punched and kicked to the ground. One woman was hit over the head with a bicycle and two others were injured.
The fighting, which continued as the rival supporters ran down the street, underlined the present worsening relations between the two political groups. It was the first open clash between the parties since Mr. Mugabe accused elements of Mr. Nkomo's Zipra guerrilla army of being "dissidents".
While the punches were being exchanged, Mr. Nkomo arrived for a meeting with Mr. Mugabe and the former Prime Minister, Mr. Ian Smith, to discuss the political crisis. There was no immediate indication whether the meeting had resolved any of the differences. But it is believed that Mr. Nkala has been rebuked by Prime Minister Mugabe for his remarks.