By Professor Matodzi
Harare, August 7, 2013 – Overzealous Zimbabwean police have maintained a heavy presence outside the MDC-T headquarters where they patrol the environs of the party’s offices in central Harare in anticipation of quelling anti-government protests after the aggrieved party said street demonstrations remain an option to protest Zanu PF leader Robert Mugabe’s declared election victory.
In a show of mighty, members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police armed with truncheons, tear gas canisters, and carrying assault rifles camped outside Harvest House, the MDC-T’s headquarters where they stationed their vehicles in anticipation of protests.
Some anti-riot police officers were deployed at strategic positions along Nelson Mandela Avenue, along First Street while others camped along Angwa Street which borders the MDC-T offices while plain clothes police personnel patrolled the area on foot.
“They are making it a pastime to camp at Harvest House,” said one vendor who sells his wares close to the MDC-T headquarters.
On Saturday, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) announced that Mugabe had trounced MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai during last Wednesday’s harmonised elections and would serve a new five year term as President which Zimbabweans fear could plunge the country into a fresh economic and political calamity witnessed prior to the formation of the coalition government in 2009.
The MDC-T recently announced that it could take to the streets to protest Mugabe’s victory in an election which the former coalition government partner rejected as a farce.
Party spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora said demonstrations and mass action remained options for party supporters to express themselves against Mugabe’s rule.
MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai has already declared that he won the election even though it was not credible and despite attempts by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to rig the polls in Mugabe and and his Zanu PF party’s favour.
Zimbabweans have suffered for 33 years under the oppressive rule of Mugabe, who turns 90 next year.