A planned illegal demonstration by MDC Alliance and some shadowy anti-Government organisations flopped dismally yesterday after the Zimbabwe Republic Police maintained a vigil in central Harare and cities and towns across the country aimed at thwarting any political mischief.
The intended demonstrations was a precursor to a planned civil unrest and violent protests that the organisations had been laying groundwork scheduled to be unleashed next month aimed at effecting illegal regime after failing to remove the Government led by President Mnangagwa through an election in July last year.
Shadowy organisations and some rogue elements with links to the MDC Alliance had been circulating messages since last week through social media instigating members of the public to engage in civil disobedience and engage in demonstrations in central Harare but people did not take heed.
The police maintained heavy presence ready to deal with any unlawful actions in Harare and in other cities.
Law enforcement agencies yesterday said there were no incidents of disturbances and violence that was reported countrywide.
In an interview, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said there was peace countrywide.
“The situation was normal and no violent incidents were reported,” he said.
He said the force will remain on alert to thwart any criminal and violent incidents countrywide.
A tight vigil by the police followed information at hand, that there were shadowy organisations seeking to unleash a wave of violent demonstrations beginning next month, with ring leaders of civil unrest having received training in the Czech Republic and the Maldives.
Further, our Harare Bureau had been told that after the training, the groups briefed MDC-Alliance leadership led by Mr Nelson Chamisa.
It is understood that there was group training in the Maldives, which began last Tuesday and ended at the weekend which was being conducted by Centre for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies (CANVAS), a Serbian organisation which trained MDC activists who were involved in the coordination of the January 14 to 16, 2019 violent protests.
A number of local activists, were reportedly attending the programme and will be instrumental in training and instigating mayhem to be rolled out in June.
CANVAS was founded in 2003 by Serbian nationals Srdja Popovic and Ivan Morovic and has been involved in the training of anti-government activists in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Iran, Lebanon, Tibet, Ukraine and Venezuela.
According to the CEVRO website, the organisation was established in 1999 in Prague, as a non-profit organisation “seeking to support democratic development home and abroad”.
The police also trashed travel warning that was issued by the United States alleging there was rampant violent crimes and civil unrest in the country.
Law enforcement agencies assured citizens and visitors that adequate security measures have been put in place to ensure peace and tranquillity continue to prevail countrywide.
“Contrary to the Zimbabwe Travel Advisory Level 2 issued by the Americans recently, the Zimbabwe Republic Police wishes to assure all Zimbabweans and visitors who include tourists to all parts of the country that the country remains safe, peaceful and secure.
“The ZRP is conducting general patrols, blitz, stop and search patrols in all Central Business Districts, industrial sites, residential areas and other places, which are usually frequented by the public with a view of getting rid of the malady of criminality,” he said.
Asst-Comm Nyathi said members of the public, including visitors should feel free to seek clarity on security matters from the ZRP on telephone numbers 0242-703631 national complaints desk, 0242-748836 for Harare Operations, 0292-885479 for Bulawayo Operations or WhatsApp number 0712800197.
In a notice titled “Zimbabwe Travel Advisory, Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution”, released on Tuesday, the US “warned” Americans to be vigilant in Zimbabwe “due to crime and civil unrest”.
In January this year, the Zimbabwe Republic Police deployed officers in all residential areas, shopping centres and the CBD to conduct patrols, surveillance and stop and searches, following some social media articles agitating Zimbabweans to engage in violence and unsanctioned demonstrations.
Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Cain Mathema has implored Zimbabweans to disregard the social media posts.
In August last year, Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) Commander General Philip Valerio Sibanda also assured the nation that the country remains safe and secure despite the recent politically motivated violence that erupted in Harare, a day after last year’s harmonised elections.
He said the ZDF would remain resolute in its support for the ZRP as it discharges its constitutional mandate.
Gen Sibanda said the country had continued to enjoy peace, security and stability during the harmonised elections and was determined to ensure such peace continues.