The heads of Zimbabwe’s security services reportedly held a two-hour meeting after MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa announced plans to roll-out mass protests across the country against the government.
According to Zim Morning Post, the Joint Operation Command (JOC), which brings together the heads of security wings, namely the military, police and state security, met on Thursday from 1400 hours.
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The meeting focused on scenarios and reigniting of state machinery in readiness to what Chamisa calls “a season of protests by the citizens.” A JOC insider is reported as saying:
Scenarios presented looked at how the State is likely to react with minimum force. What is clear is that enemies of the State want to destabilise the prevailing peaceful environment. The protests will be stopped.
In his address on Tuesday using the party’s social media platforms, Chamisa said his party will peacefully resist the continued infringement on citizens’ rights. He said:
We will peacefully resist and oppose sustaining businesses and companies that oppress us the people.
We will peacefully resist and oppose institutions that oppress us the people. We will peacefully resist and oppose illegal enforcement. We will peacefully resist and oppose unconstitutional laws.
We will peacefully resist and oppose the weaponisation of laws and judiciary systems. We will peacefully resist and oppose the illegitimate Oppressors that stole the election.
Zimbabwe last experienced widespread protests in January 2019 after the government hiked fuel prices by over 100 per cent.
Thousands of Zimbabweans protested against the price increase, along with increasing levels of poverty, the poor state of the economy.
The government as it is wont, responded with a coordinated crackdown that resulted in hundreds of arrests and multiple injuries and deaths.