The Zimbabwe Republic Police might have to order police details on leave to report for duty as tension swells in Harare and oth
er cities in the face of more protests and demonstrations by opposition forces, the head of the police force in Harare Province has said.
Officer Commanding Harare Province , Bothwell Mugariri confirmed on Friday that the police force was being stretched by opposition forces, increasingly showing determination to take to the streets and cause chaos as a way of forcing President Robert Mugabe to stop repression as well as embrace reforms.
Mugariri spoke to The Zimbabwean in a telephone interview about two hours after a group of about 300 demonstrators comprising students, opposition and civil society members overpowered police details as they ripped through the city centre singing and chanting slogans calling on Mugabe to go.
“We are having to reinforce our presence on the ground because the situation is becoming tense and it might mean calling some officers from leave,” Mugariri said.
A check with Harare Central Police Station showed that no arrests had been made after the demonstration, characterized mainly by brutal attacks at police details as well as smashing of a police caravan in the city centre.
An officer in the Law and Order Section said in confidence that police were still trying to establish the leaders behind the demonstrations in order to effect arrests by late afternoon on Friday.
The opposition, students movement and civil society have warned Mugabe and threatened to make the country ungovernable through massive protests against consistent economic rot and yet another plot by the Zanu PF aging leader to extend his tenure by harmonizing presidential elections with general elections for 2010.
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