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Zimbabwe: Security forces deployed to stifle protests

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Tensions in the heart of Africa are high as security agencies have sought to stifle planned protests by citizens over allegations of graft in the top administration ranks of the second republic.

The protests come amid an intensifying crackdown on opposition and union activists and some Journalists.

Investigative journalist Hopewell Chin’ono recently published documents raising concerns that powerful individuals in Zimbabwe were pocketing from multimillion-dollar deals for essential supplies to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Responding to the planned protests, earlier this week, Zimbabwe’s ruling party through party spokesperson Patrick Chinamasa, threatened to expel the US ambassador after calling the diplomat “a thug” who was fomenting unrest by funding protest organisers.

President Mnangagwa has described the protests as an act to overthrow the government.

“It must never be in doubt that the objective of these rogue Zimbabweans acting in cahoots with foreign appendages, supporters, and financiers … is to overthrow our democratically elected Government,” Mnangagwa

“I want to warn the organisers of this ill-fated demonstrations that our security services will be vigilant and on high alert to appropriately respond to their shenanigans … I urge all patriotic and law-abiding citizens to shun these malcontents and reject their divisive and ruinous plan.” added President Mnangagwa.

Zimbabwe police and soldiers have been deployed across the nation ahead of planned 31st July anti-corruption demonstrations on Friday.

Police have issued a stern warning saying anyone attending the protests will “only have themselves to blame”

On Thursday, a court denied bail to investigative scribe Hopewell Chin’ono, who has been critically blowing the trumpet of the anti-corruption gospel.

On the same vein a day before the proposed protests, were reports that unidentified armed men allegedly believed to be from a government security agency, raided the home of the editor of an investigative news website and took with them his sister on finding that he was absent, however it is reported she was later released.

Police also published a “wanted list” of 14 prominent critics of the government including Job Sikhala an opposition legislator, a union leader Mutasa and two former youth leaders of the ruling Zanu-PF party in connection with the said protests.

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