Government rumoured to be spending millions on new weapons.
According to the Zimbabwe Independent, a large number of police officers are also undergoing rigorous paramilitary training to ensure that they will be adequately prepared to crush the protests. Prices of goods and services have skyrocketed and have gone up sevenfold in some cases since the fall of former President Robert Mugabe, while salaries have largely remained the same.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government is reported to have acquired new weapons and equipment as it prepares to crush the expected protests over the deteriorating economy and standard of leaving. Security sources who spoke to The Zimbabwe Independent said.
About 1050 regular police officers have received the training. In the event of civil unrest, they will be deployed alongside officers from the Support Unit which specialises in crowd control. There is a plan to extend the programme to other provinces because most of the trainees have been from Harare.
The officers are receiving month-long paramilitary training, which is gruelling in nature and has a lot of emphasis on physical fitness. They are being trained in the use of baton sticks, shields and helmets as well as crowd control and crowd dispersal.
They are also being trained to use new weaponry which has been acquired, including Mossberg shotguns, which can be used even within a range of 10 metres unlike the previous ones which could only be used at a range of 75 metres and above, for fear of causing fatalities…the ammunition is less lethal as it disintegrates after being discharged from the guns, but it can cause serious injuries and is good for crowd dispersal.
Another security officer told the publication. If you go to the back of Harare Central, you will officers and some soldiers ready for deployment. The plan though is not to deploy soldiers but the police because of the killings in January and August.
In an ironic development, a Zambian prophet has said that despite Mnangagwa’s confidence that no one can remove him, God included, there will be a ‘mighty uprising’ which will see people turning on Mnangagwa.
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