Truckloads of armed riot police officers have been deployed in Harare’s CBD in anticipation of a planned national shutdown on Monday.
NewZimbabwe recently reported that the country’s security forces have been placed on high alert, ready to crush any protests.
Truckloads of cops in full riot gear were spotted manning Harare’s streets while the others spent the better part of Saturday parked near the popular Africa Unity Square.
Speaking to NewZimbabwe, national police spokesperson Paul Nyathi confirmed the deployment of riot police officers on the streets saying they were on the streets “just about showing visibility” and not to suppress any protests.
“It is about police visibility. We are just maintaining police visibility as per our constitutional mandate, so there is nothing sinister about police patrolling whether on foot or using vehicles,” Nyathi said.
Activists and civic groups have threatened to stage an uprising to coerce the authorities to act on the dampening economic prospects.
They have raised a number of grievances which include discontentment over the high cost of living, a debilitating transport crisis and rising costs of basic commodities.