The Zimbabwe Republic Police has assured the public that it is taking seriously attempts by political activists to cause anarchy in the country and has beefed up manpower in major urban areas to thwart any planned disturbances. The law enforcement agency said security was being enhanced to ensure the safety of law abiding citizens.
There were fears that the forces bent on destabilising the country would try to cause chaos in Harare yesterday, but the police were on top of the situation and deployed uniformed and plain clothed officers to thwart any skirmishes.
Disturbances in the central business district last week hurt business activity resulting in several retail and service outlets closing early as others were looted.
In an interview yesterday, Police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi said, “We want to give assurances to members of the public that we have the capacity to protect their safety.
“We are constantly working on ways to deal with these malcontents to ensure that that they do not cause fear to the public. One such measure is that we have increased police deployment not only in Harare, but in all the parts of Zimbabwe to ensure that the public is safe,” he said.
Chief Supt Nyathi said the force had gathered intelligence on what the rioters were planning next.
“These protestors are not your everyday persons … We have gathered they were at the Showgrounds and Samora Machel, Jason Moyo, Nelson Mandela Avenue as well as at Chinhoyi Street Bus Terminus and some Choppies supermarket outlets.”
According to Chief Supt Nyathi, some vendors had been roped into the destablisation strategy, concealing missiles that were used to attack police officers and damage property.
“One observation we made was that there were a number of vendors who were part of the plot … Fortunately some of these culprits were apprehended by police.”
About 70 protestors were arrested between last Wednesday and Friday and appeared in court yesterday to answer various charges related to the disturbances.