Harare – Police in Zimbabwe have claimed that the southern African country is facing an “imminent terror attack”, hence the move by the security forces to ban all demonstrations and political rallies, reports said on Tuesday.
The police, according to reports, said this while responding to the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP)’s application to hold its first anniversary celebrations in Bulawayo on Sunday.
The celebrations had been scheduled to take place at the White City Stadium.
Police claimed they feared a full blown war was imminent in the country, as they were threats by pressure groups to attack government infrastructures to force President Robert Mugabe’ to relinquish power, a NewsDay report said.
The police further claimed that the situation in the southern African country was volatile, adding that unnamed pressure groups were planning to attack the country during the demonstrations.
“Serious threats have been received from various pressure groups through social media inciting people to declare a full war in Zimbabwe starting on September 2, to destroy all police properties, to destroy all roadblocks with fire, to blow up all government vehicles and buildings, attack all members of the prison services and release all prisoners in jail, seize Zimbabwe Revenue Authority by force, shut down all major shops until government changes, prevent all airlines from landing and taking off, allow bus operators to operate at their risk and to blow up all Zupco buses and ambulances,” the police wrote in a letter to PDP.
The PDP, however, described as a shame the ban on its rally, with the party’s secretary general Gordon Moyo accusing the police of fighting the ruling Zanu-PFs battles, according to New Zimbabwe.com.
“It is a shame that the police continue to be used as expandable political condoms of a sterile and fading regime of Robert Mugabe. Surely how does a birthday celebration in Bulawayo threaten the Herald?, Moyo was cited as saying.
The Zimbabwean police last week issued a ban on all protests in the capital for the next two weeks.
The notice cited a lack of manpower to prevent disorder. It said that demonstrations would only be allowed after September 16.
The notice also stated that anyone taking part in protests before then could be imprisoned for up to a year.
Zimbabwe has seen a mounting tide of violent protests in the past weeks, with demonstrators calling for the resignation of Mugabe.
Mugabe had been in power since 1980 when the country won independence.