Harare, September 17, 2014 – Zimbabwean police barricaded access to a symbolic square in central Harare and deployed dozens of law enforcement agents in a desperate bid to thwart planned anti-government protests.
MDC-T leader and the country’s former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai announced at the weekend that his opposition political party would roll out anti-government demonstrations to protest against President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party’s rule which he blamed for impoverishing millions of Zimbabweans.
Tsvangirai rallied his party supporters in Masvingo at a rally held to mark his party’s 15th anniversary to take to the streets to show displeasure over Mugabe’s administration of the southern African country which is beset with by an agonising economic crisis.
On Wednesday dozens of police officers armed with truncheons and riot shields cordoned off entrances to Africa Unity Square, a symbolic square which has been the scene where human rights and political activists have on several occasions organised anti-government protests.
Last month, police deployed anti-riot police backed by water cannons to break up anti-government protests organized by Tsvangirai’s supporters who accused Mugabe’s Zanu PF administration of failing to create 2 million jobs that it promised Zimbabweans during the run-up to last year’s general elections.
The MDC-T also accuse Mugabe administration of reversing the gains achieved during the coalition government of Mugabe and Tsvangirai which stabilized the southern African country.
However, Mugabe and his Zanu PF party deny the charges and blames the imposition of travel sanctions on his lieutenants by western governments for the country’s political and economic ills.