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Zimbabweans ignore national shutdown calls

by Staff reporter
10 May 2022 at 07:44hrs | Views
ZIMBABWEANS across the country yesterday ignored calls for a national shutdown as they conducted their normal business peacefully.

Social media regime change proponents under the banner Pachedu, among others, had called for an illegal national shutdown yesterday, but citizens chose productivity and peace over disruptions.

Similar calls for illegal national shutdown have resulted in violent protests which have led to loss of life and destruction of property worth millions of dollars.

In 2019, an attempted illegal national shutdown turned violent and some shops in Bulawayo's western suburbs were looted, vandalised and burnt down. The skirmishes led to the death of six people including an on-duty police officer.

Following the looting and destruction of some shops, some people lost their livelihoods and never recovered.

Yesterday, the public totally ignored the proposed national shutdown.

In Bulawayo, members of the public went about their business as planned as banks, supermarkets, schools opened during their usual timeframes with no incidents of intimidation.

Transport was readily available to ferry the public to and from work.

The situation that was recorded in Bulawayo was replicated across the country.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said no protests and related criminal activities were recorded in the country.

"Police have not received any form of disturbance; the situation has been calm throughout the day. People are going about their day-to-day activities without any hindrance and we want to thank the public for cooperating with the Zimbabwe Republic Police in terms of maintaining law and order in the country," said Asst Comm Nyathi.

Bulawayo Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Judith Ncube commended Bulawayo residents for observing peace.

"We have to express gratitude to members of the public for being peaceful.

If you remember last time we suffered as Bulawayo following the call for an illegal national shutdown which resulted in property losses and loss of lives. What is important is that where differences emerge, we should prioritise dialogue and through dialogue we can come up with constructive developments," said Minister Ncube.

Businesses said events in the political scene should not affect the economic sector.

Association for Business in Zimbabwe (ABUZ) chief executive officer Mr Victor Nyoni said calls for an illegal shutdown were politically motivated and businesses were the biggest losers when protests take place.

"For us, we don't necessarily comment on political issues, that is something within the space of politics.

We have also told Government, and other stakeholders we want a situation where the economy is insulated from the happenings in politics, especially in a direct manner as we are observing now.

As you might be aware some businesses are still trying to find feet from the previous demonstration and if this had happened it would have worsened the situation.

Other businesses have tried to seek compensation and things like that and others are still struggling and we hardly need any disruption at this stage," said Mr Nyoni.

Source - The Chronicle