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Mnangagwa's police brace for Chamisa's anti-government protests

by ZimLive
04 Jun 2019 at 17:02hrs | Views
Zimbabwean police are not being allowed to resign and all leave has been cancelled as authorities brace for potential opposition and labour protests over the country's economic collapse.

Internal police memos also show that police chiefs have directed that all retired officers be placed under surveillance - betraying fears by authorities that despondent former officers are swelling the ranks of the opposition.

"Addressees are being advised that all forms of leave and time off have been cancelled/suspended until further notice. All officers and members should be advised to report back to their respective workstations by 01/06/19 without fail," a memo to all police stations dated May 31, 2019, says.

In a second bulletin on the same day, the ZRP directed all serving police officers to "profile and strictly monitor all retired and discharged members or officers within their areas of jurisdiction."

"This office is greatly concerned with the involvement of te retired or discharged members in organising and coordinating civil unrest and demonstrations across the country," the memo added.

Until further notice, the ZRP added, "all retirement requests by members who have not reached pensionable age have been suspended."

Police commanders in the districts and provinces were required to carry out "monthly lectures to members encouraging them to remain loyal and dedicated to the great cause of our great country in these trying times."

Zimbabwe is experiencing its worst economic crisis in over a decade, amid threats by public sector unions to stage strikes.

Nelson Chamisa, the leader of the MDC, has vowed to lead street protests that could bring down the embattled government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Twice over the last 12 months, the government has responded with deadly force to put down protests, resulting in the deaths of over two dozen people, abductions and prosecutions of hundreds.

The last protests, in January, turned violent in some areas and security chiefs said they suspected the hidden hand of former soldiers and police officers because the protesters "showed no fear".

Repression has escalated in recent weeks with the arrest and targeting of human rights activists who are accused of undergoing training in "regime change". Seven human rights defenders are currently on trial, accused of plotting the overthrow of Mnangagwa's government.

Early Tuesday, rights groups reported that about eight men had laid siege on the home of Heal Zimbabwe director Rashid Mahiya, but he and his family locked themselves inside. The men, travelling in two vehicles without registration numbers, later left.

Source - ZimLive