Wednesday, 7 September 2016

COPS IN EMBARRASSING U TURN

POLICE in Bulawayo yesterday made an embarrassing climb down, admitting the terrorism fears they raised ahead of a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) rally in the city were a hoax.

The police now say the rally, scheduled for Sunday, can go ahead as initially planned.

Chief Superintendent Mthokozisi Manzini Moyo, the police officer commanding Bulawayo West district, had on Monday banned the rally, claiming law enforcement agents had received intelligence reports that the rally would be hijacked by terrorists and turned into an orgy of violence that would spread to all parts of the country targeting government buildings and movable assets for destruction.

Moyo yesterday wrote to the opposition party reversing his earlier decision.

“Please be advised that after putting some issues into perspective, my office has reconsidered the prohibition notice as regards your anniversary scheduled for September 11 at White City Stadium,” he wrote.

“It is hereby rescinded. However, be advised that confining your celebrations to the venue will further reduce security risks and chances of infiltration, which might lead to public disorder incidents.”

PDP Bulawayo spokesperson, Edwin Ndlovu yesterday said the police action confirmed reports that the country was in a state of paralysis.
 

“We have always argued that the country is paralysed, as there is no operational government. The country is run like a tuckshop,” he said. “How can a serious, proper operational organ of the State, the police, issue two contradictory statements? How have they averted the alleged threats within a day? (President Robert) Mugabe must step down and we form a transitional authority to oversee election preparations. The centre crumbled long ago.”

On Monday, Moyo had claimed that some unidentified terror gangs were plotting to hijack the event and were using social media platforms to perpetuate terror.

“Serious threats have been received from various pressure groups through social media inciting people to declare a full war in Zimbabwe starting on September 2, to destroy all police properties, to destroy all roadblocks with fire, to blow up all government vehicles and buildings, attack all members of the prison services and release all prisoners from jail, seize Zimbabwe Revenue Authority by force, shut down all major shops until government changes, prevent all airlines from landing and taking off, allow bus operators to operate at their risk and to blow up all Zupco buses and ambulances,” Moyo said then.

“We do not take these threats lightly and we have remained on high alert since September 1, a situation that has strained our resource utilisation. We advise that your intended event be delayed up to such a time when security threat levels reduce to normal. In this regard, I invoke the provisions of section 26(9) of the Public Order and Security Act Chapter 11:17.”

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