Harare, September 29, 2015 – Zimbabwean police have begun using some of its all-terrain troop-carrying trucks which were acquired recently as part of the instruments of repression to combat any possible revolt triggered by the country’s deteriorating socio-economic situation.
Tensions have been rising in Zimbabwe as the troubled southern African country grapples with a political and economic crisis worsened by massive job losses, power outages and rising poverty blamed mainly on mismanagement by President Robert Mugabe’s administration.
In a show of force, the Zimbabwe Republic Police on Monday deployed some Scania trucks which carried police officers from its crack Support Unit which patrolled the streets of Harare.
According to media reports, the trucks were purchased from Ashok Leyland Ltd, an Indian vehicle manufacturing company.
Apart from the police trucks, the Indian firm has also delivered water cannons, buses and equipment, mostly used by military, prisons and police and will be used in operations to quell some anticipated uprisings which Zimbabwean authorities fear could emerge owing to frustrations by a large section of the country’s population which feels hard done by President Mugabe’s ruling Zanu(PF) government.
President Mugabe’s administration has in recent years been purchasing and allocating top of the range vehicles and equipment to bolster operations for the army, the central intelligence organisation, prisons and the police in a bid to buy their loyalty and in turn prop up the nonagenarian leader’s rule.
However, critics accuse the government of prioritising wrong priorities instead of focusing on improving social service delivery including stocking up medicines and other facilities in the collapsing health sector and the reeling education sector.