The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) says it has compelling evidence that the mainstream opposition party, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) will unleash an orgy of violence during its planned march in Harare on Friday.
MDC is planning to hold peaceful protests in Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru, Masvingo and Mutare from August 16 to 22.
But police insisted it has “concrete evidence” which indicates if orchestrated, the marches would turn out to be violent contrary to assurances from the MDC.
ZRP Press, Public and International Relations, Assistant Commissioner, Paul Nyathi said police recovered a substantial quantity of granite stones and catapults stashed in sacks in Harare`s central business district.
“These were delivered by two vehicles which had no registration number plates at corner Nelson Mandela and Innez Terrace Harare during the night on August 13. The vehicles went on to drop sacks containing unknown items to some street kids at corner Robert Mugabe Harare street, Copacabana commuter rank and disappeared. The stacks were then taken away by unidentified street kids who suddenly disappeared into the darkness,” he said.
Asst. Comm Nyathi warned drivers whose vehicles had no registration numbers or were not displaying requisite number plates that their cars would be impounded at various check points throughout the country.
He added that this action also applied to government vehicles that had no registration plates.
“Some of these vehicles (without number plates) were involved in criminal acts, which include the public disturbances,” said the police spokesperson.
Meanwhile, ZRP claimed that there was another incident were over 120 MDC activists toy toyed at a shopping centre in Chitungwiza during Wednesday night.
These activists chanted party slogans and mobilised residents in St Mary’s and Chigovanyika shopping centre surroundings to participate in the August 16 demo.
Asst. Comm Nyathi described these as “confrontational acts” by the MDC and said they coincided with the assault of innocent members of the public after an incident in St Mary’s involving one of their senior officials at the weekend.
“The ZRP is fully monitoring the situation and will thus not be distracted by insinuations that the demonstrations will be peaceful yet on the ground the situation has openly indicated a violent mobilisation of the so-called protestors.
“Police reiterates that security services will not be fold hands and allow violent destruction of property, intimidation, threats and clandestine night acts if violent agitation to take centre stage,” he said.
ZRP is disturbed that these purported demonstrations by MDC and partners have shown open violent acts that are physically manifesting on the ground, Asst. Comm Nyathi added.
“Members of the public are implored to remain peaceful and continue to conduct their normal day to day activities the ZRP assures citizens of its readiness to provide security and maintain law and order throughout the county without fear of favour,” he said.