A demonstration planned to protest the impending introduction of bond notes flopped dismally yesterday as people ignored it and went about their business.A snap survey by The Herald in the central business district revealed that police had been heavily deployed to thwart any disturbances, while it was business as usual in and around the city.
Organisers of the demo, dubbed “Munhu Wese MuRoad (Everyone to the Streets)” were National Vendors’ Union of Zimbabwe leader Sten Zvorwadza, Patson Dzamara and Silvanos Mudzvova of #Tajamuka who did not even show up at the open space where they had “mobilised” people to gather.
There was calm and no reports of violence and disturbances. All retail shops, supermarkets, food outlets, banks and companies were operating as usual, while commuter omnibus crews were servicing their normal routes, ferrying passengers to work and their respective destinations.
Informal traders at Glen View Home Industries, Siya So and others were operating normally.
On Thursday, the organisers issued statements that they were ready to confront the police during the demonstrations.
They were, however, anticipating that most people would join in the demonstration but they did not show up.
A meeting had been scheduled at an open space near the Harare Magistrates’ Courts yesterday morning but it did not materialise.
There were, however, unconfirmed media reports that Dzamara and one Ishmael Kanzani were abducted and had their cars burnt by unidentified men along High Glen Road yesterday morning.
Chief police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba last night said she was yet to get details of the case.
“I am still trying to get hold of the Officer Commanding Harare Province (Senior Assistant Commissioner Elias Mvere) to get details on what transpired today (yesterday),” she said.
Snr Asst Comm Charamba said she would get the full update on the activities today.
In an interview, Zvorwadza confirmed that the demonstration had flopped and accused “State security agents” for having a hand in that and accused them of brutality towards some of his colleagues.
“Today’s (yesterday’s) gathering was supposed to be on condemning bond notes and corruption and we wanted to do it peacefully but we were shocked that police burnt cars belonging to our colleagues,” he said.
He alleged that yesterday morning some unidentified men travelling in twin cab trucks had blocked vehicles belonging to Dzamara and Kanzani along High Glen Road before abducting them while they were coming from Mufakose.
He alleged that the two were later found near Lake Chivero after being dumped and were receiving treatment at a local hospital. herald