Zimbabwe’s security services have been put on high alert to clamp down on any protests amid indications of possible civil unrest.
NewZimbabwe.com reported official and security sources as saying security services have been preparing for an eventual outbreak of civil disobedience for the past two months.
Zimbabweans had to cope with a rise in the cost of living, runaway inflation, skyrocketing fuel prices and erosion of the value of the Zimbabwean dollar over the past two months and service chiefs consider the prevailing economic challenges a fertile ground for mass protests. Said a NewZimbabwe.com source:
The entire security sector is on high alert. They know that there is a realistic likelihood of an uprising and every effort is being made to thwart it.
The president himself has consistently been given security situation reports indicating the ground is fertile for upheaval and that is why he is frequently talking about economic saboteurs. It is a delicate situation.
This also comes as civil society organisations, university students, teachers and nurses have called for a national shutdown on Monday, 9 May to protest against the rising cost of living.
But the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Ndavaningi Mangwana, warned that the State will deal with protestors. He tweeted:
Do you want to be unproductive? That is your baby. Do you want to try to stop someone from going where they want to go or doing what they want to do or fending for their family? The law will do its power to stop you!
Meanwhile, South African opposition leader Mmusi Maimane warned the Zimbabwean Government to desist from violating people’s rights. He said:
The world will be watching when Zimbabwe happens. There is no room for suppression of the rights of the people including the right to protest.
There should be no obstruction of the people, ED Mnangagwa there should be no arrests and intimidation of activists.
South Africa has paid a heavy price for the oppression in Zimbabwe. We will not ignore brutality and oppression.
We cannot support dictatorship anymore. It is costing us dearly, costing the whole of SADC.