Zimbabwe police today said they have intelligence that tomorrow’s demonstrations by the Movement for Democratic Change will turn violent and warned that the security services will not fold their hands and allow violence, destruction of property, intimidation and threats to take place.
In a statement, police said they had already recovered “a substantial quantity of granite stones and catapults stashed in sacks” which were delivered by two vehicles which had no registration number plates at corner Nelson Mandela and Innez Terrace in Harare during the night on 13August.
The vehicles went on to drop sacks containing unknown items to some street kids at corner Robert Mugabe and Harare Street, Copacabana commuter rank and disappeared.
In another incident, the police said, over 120 MDC A activists toyi-toyed at a shopping centre in Chitungwiza during the night while chanting party slogans and mobilized residents in St Mary’s and Chigovanyika shopping centre to participate in the coming demonstrations.
“The confrontational acts by the MDC A activists coincide with the assault of innocent members of the public after an accident in St Mary’s involving one of their senior officials at the weekend,” police said.
The MDC is holding demonstrations in Harare tomorrow. It has also organised demonstrations in Bulawayo, Gweru, Masvingo and Mutare next week.
The party says it will ensure that the demonstrations will be peaceful but some of its sympathisers have queried the purpose of the demonstrations apart from showing mass support to satisfy the ego of the party leaders.
“The ZRP is disturbed that these purported demonstrations by MDC A and partners have shown open violent acts which are physically manifesting on the ground,” police said.
“Police reiterate that security services will not fold hands and allow violence, destruction of property, intimidation, threats and clandestine night acts of violent agitation to take centre stage.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police is disturbed that these purported demonstrations by MDC-A and partners have shown open violent acts which are physically manifesting on the ground.
“Members of the public are implored to remain peaceful and continue to conduct their normal day to day activities. The ZRP assures all citizens of its readiness to provide security and maintain law and order throughout the country without fear and favour.”
Demonstrations staged by the MDC under Nelson Chamisa have so far been violent with six people being killed on 1 August last year and at least 13 others in January this year.