A police officer attempting to disperse people from a bus stop hit and killed a nine-month-old baby strapped on the back of its mother, it was claimed on Tuesday.
The incident reportedly took place on Monday at a bus stop popular with travellers to Mashonaland Central near the intersection of Second Street and Fife Avenue.
The Zimbabwe Republic Police said it was investigating the reports as the government denied the child had been killed.
A video circulated on Tuesday showing a woman clinging onto the shirt of a police officer after he allegedly killed her baby with a truncheon.
The baby can be seen on the video, which also captures a mob charging the uniformed police officer.
ZimLive has not been able to independently verify the claims that the baby was killed, and the woman remains unidentified.
The video, shot in day time, suggests the incident happened outside the curfew hours of 10PM to 6AM, which were updated on Tuesday to 6PM to 6AM at the start of a 30-day nationwide lockdown to control the spread of Covid-19.
Police allegedly arrived at the bus stop and ordered people to disperse, claiming to be enforcing coronavirus lockdown regulations. The officers assaulted the travellers with baton sticks, but the woman could not run because of the baby strapped on her back. In attempting to strike the mother, the police officer allegedly caught the baby who died instantly, according to social media accounts.
National police spokesman Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said he did not have details of the incident, but had asked Harare police for information.
“We’re in the process of checking the incoming reports concerning such a matter and are asking the public to assist with information,” Nyathi said.
As anger grew on social media on Tuesday, a government spokesman said police still did not have a report of a baby death from police brutality.
“What the video actually shows is a policeman under attack, which is wrong and a crime,” Ndavaningi Mangwana said on Twitter. “We have checked and so far police have no report of a baby that has been killed. Maybe they receive one later, but nobody is yet to report a dead baby. They said they are investigating the skirmishes in this video.”