Friday, March 4, 2011

By Habakkuk Trust Information Department

Bulawayo residents have for the past three days been living in absolute fear emanating from the increased number of armed police details in the streets and the increase in roadblocks along major highways leading to the Matabeleland Capital and Zimbabwe’s second largest City.
Residents have witnessed an increase in the number of armed youthful police officers wearing helmets, carrying teargas canisters and button sticks at major spots such as Egodini bus terminus, TM Hyper and the City Centre.
Emakhandeni residents and local leaders said yesterday they witnessed 8 heavily armed army trucks parked at Emagestini.
Another concern especially from residents traveling along the major highways leading to the City has been the recent increase in roadblocks and police searches.
The prevailing situation continues to instill a lot of fear and despondency to the residents especially at a time when the nation is supposed to be preparing for an election. There are areas within the City where residents have been finding it difficult to carry on with their normal lives and to conduct development work because of fear of police harassment. A case in point is the Habakkuk Trust Emakhandeni Action Team that failed to have a meeting yesterday fearing the police might descend on them.
The heavy police and military presence in the City comes at a time when there has been numerous arrests of civic and political activists nationwide on allegations of plotting mass demonstrations against the government – the Egypt style.

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