The Harare administration led by Emmerson Mnangagwa is in serious panic mode following promise of protests by Movement for Democratic Change leader Nelson Chamisa on the 21st of January 2020. In an address to party supporters Mr Nelson Chamisa dubbed 2020 the year of demonstrations. At the same time Zimbabwe Police is beefing up the anti-riot police unit with an additional 387 set to join the Black Boots.
In an internal memo seen by Dangwe News 387officers are being moved from duty uniform to support unit. This is the same batch that under went training in Shamva last year. Of the 400 that started the new intense training 13 failed to make the grade. Insiders said the new training technics are similar to those of the army with some instructors coming in from Barracks. Most officers we spoke to complained of a heavy ZanuPF hand in the training with the party sending in it’s team from Herbert Chitepo School of ideology. A graduate from Mberengwa accused the seniors of treating them like Border Gezis and also spoke of being forced to chant Zanu PF slogans.
Many of the new Support Unit members expressed little faith in the current administration’s capacity to lift the dying economy. Speaking in Shona one officer sent a clear message; ‘Vanoda kuti tigo rova vanhu kana zvawoma ndiyo nyaya yacho but iwe unoda kuti ndirove munhu iwe unondipei? Porisi rese iri harichada hapana civil servant rinoda ZanuPF kunyepa uku hatina kupusa sema Shurugwi ake. (They want us to beat people when protests start but we will not do that, what is Mnangagwa giving us? There are very few civil servants that support ZanuPF do not be fooled we will not be used like Shurugwis.) A huge number of Police officers openly spoke against the government after the parade something which was taboo under Robert Mugabe.
Emmerson Mnangagwa never had the support of the Police ever since he stepped into power via a coup. In addition to the already 387 more officers are set to start training from next month in Shamva. The training was scheduled to start in January but resources constraints have delayed it. The Police is reportedly still awaiting funds from parent Ministry to enable it feed the 400 plus officers. In 2019 alone over 2500 officers under went the Support Unit training. With MDC promises to take to the streets it remains to be seen if the Police will side with the common men or stick with the oppressor.