Why soldiers and police blocked people from getting into CBDs on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday

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Scenes from roadblocks in Bulawayo on Monday

CONTRADICTIONS have rocked President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government with top officials giving conflicting explanations as to why heavily armed soldiers and police blockaded major cities between Monday and Wednesday.

The security agents blocked people from getting into central business districts in Harare on Monday, Bulawayo on Tuesday and Kwekwe the following day. Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said government was enforcing lockdown measures.

The military also weighed in, saying they simply were assisting the police in enforcing lockdown measures.

However, Mnangagwa’s spokesperson George Charamba on his social media account under the moniker Jamwanda, said the military blockade was in response to a security threat.

He said intelligence gathered alerted the State of nefarious activities, and accused the MDC Alliance of plotting an uprising against government.

“The State decided on an enhanced lockdown last week acting on the basis of information and threats which civilians never know beforehand, will never know unless informed,” Charamba said.

“Those who had planned mischief to coincide with the June 16 Day of the African Child, in the hope of misappropriating it for own ends know why what happened did.

“More important, they should know all the evil they plan is in the full glare of the watchful State. Hazviite; hazvisi kuzoitika, hazvizomboitika! Keep within the four corners of the law and follow tenets of lawful, peaceful opposition, and your days on this Earth as opposition will be added! Kuyambirana pachi pedo!”

Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe last week implicated the opposition, diplomats, security agents, senior government workers, churches and civic organisations in a plot to oust Mnangagwa.

MDC Alliance spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere, however, accused Charamba of using diversionary tactics.

“Over the past few weeks, we have seen a blatant attempt by the State and its proxies to keep us distracted by sideshows masquerading as national issues,” Mahere told journalists yesterday.

“On behalf of the 2,6 million people who put their faith in the MDC Alliance (during the 2018 elections), we are putting the State and all its operators on notice. We will not be distracted from the real issues bedeviling our nation.”

She added: “In the past few weeks, Covidgate has implicated senior government officials, including those at the very top yet all we see are theatrics, weak investigations and the arrest of the smallest, weakest and least powerful fish.”

“These are diversionary tactics from people who want us to forget about the corruption, the real issues affecting people. We will talk about Covidgate, about the looting of NSSA and not start talking about the possibility of a coup here or demonstrations there.”

Referring to Charamba, Mahere said: “We can’t take seriously a dodgy social media account by some supposedly senior government official.”

— NewsDay


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