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Calm returns to Midlands

by Staff reporter
17 Jan 2019 at 00:07hrs | Views
Calm returned to most parts of the Midlands province yesterday following opposition MDC-Alliance sponsored violent protests and looting of shops, especially in high density suburbs on Tuesday.

Suspected MDC-Alliance hooligans went around breaking into shops and looting groceries, especially in Mkoba and Ascot suburbs, resulting in the closure of businesses. The hooligans also stoned cars and beat up people in their houses.

Delta's sales manager for Gweru, Mr Innocent Bvunzawabaya, was one of the many victims after the hooligans blocked and stoned his branded vehicle at Ascot shopping centre on the basis that the beverages manufacturing company was failing to produce enough beer.

"Murikuisepi doro imi mumabhawa hamuna doro mukutadza kubika doro here toda kukurova unoudza vamwe vako (Why are you not brewing enough beer, we want to beat you up for that," one of the thug was heard saying as they attacked the car.

Mr Bvunzawabaya escaped with minor injuries after he fled from the scene.

The hooligans also reportedly assaulted and looted shops in Gokwe. A snap survey by this publication yesterday established that peace and tranquillity had returned to most cities and towns in the Midlands, with some shops reopening.

Security forces had been deployed in most areas.

In Gweru, shops like OK Supermarket and other small retail shops were yesterday open, with people doing their shopping.

"We studied the situation in the morning and realised that the environment was now peaceful and conducive so we decided to open shop," said one of the line managers at OK supermarket who chose to not to be named. Vendors who had vacated the streets were also back.

"We are back on the streets selling our wares," said Mrs Sipho Ngwenya a vendor operating outside OK supermarket.

"We did not encounter any problems today and it seems things are back to normal."

Some of the vendors called on Government to be tough with people who cause violence.

"We are not happy at all with the people who disturbed our business," said Mr Vengai Moyo.

"This is our livelihood and these people who were demonstrating without a clear cause affected our business.

"All the vendors are not happy at all and next time if they try it again we ask Government to be very tough with them. Looting and destruction of property cannot be said to be a peaceful demonstration. They wanted us to join them, but it was clear that they were just criminals out to take advantage to loot and destroy property.

"As vendors, we also condemn political leaders who seem to have incited these people. The opposition parties should learn their lessons that destruction and looting will never get them into power. As vendors, we understand that it is through voting that one gets power, but it seems these political leaders are either paying a blind eye to the reality or they are so daft to think they can achieve their political ambitions through other means."

Shurugwi District Administrator, Mr Langton Mupeta, said it was business as usual in Shurugwi with most shops open. He said Government departments had been operating since Monday. "The people of Shurugwi are very peaceful and since Monday, everyone has been going about his or her business," he said.

Zvishavane Town council secretary Mr Tapiwa Mukutu said the town was clam, with people and most businesses operating. "Some shops closed as a precautionary measure, but others were operating, the town has been relatively peaceful," he said.

Source - the herald