All pandemonium broke loose on Monday at two Kuwadzana OK outlets as police on duty in the area fired tear smoke to disperse crowds that had begun gathering to buy subsidised mealie meal.
Police fired the tear gas on the pretext that they intended to enforce lockdown restrictions.
It later emerged, however, that the officers had connived with OK Kuwadzana management stores to scatter members of the public so that they could buy the mealie meal all by themselves. Zim Morning Post quoted its source as saying:
Upon delivery of the mealie- meal at the OK outlets, the police suddenly started firing teargas in efforts to cause a commotion and disperse the crowds so they could buy the mealie meal all by themselves. They are in this together with management at both the OK supermarket outlets in Kuwadzana.
Reports from Bulawayo have also claimed that police officers are involved in the thriving black market trade in subsidised mealie meal.
They allegedly used their proximity to the supply chains to divert the product from the formal to the parallel market where is sold strictly for cash at exorbitant prices.