The Zimbabwe National Army working in cahoot with the police invoked the notorious 1960 Rhodesian Law and Order (Maintenance) Act (LOMA) now known as POSA crash opposition protests.
This saw army units armed to the teeth going after MDC demonstrators in Harare and Bulawayo who were protesting against the outcome of recently held elections.
At least 4 people were killed in Harare. Police have confirmed 3 deaths. Unconfirmed reports say 1 person was killed in Makokoba, Bulawayo.
Foreign journalists were assaulted while covering the clashes in Harare.
What is LOMA a.k.a POSA?
Demonstrations and riots broke out across then-Southern Rhodesia in July 1960 following the arrest of three NDP leaders (Leopold Takawira, Michael Mawema and Stanlake Sangwema) on 19 July 1960.
Protests and demonstrations in cities across the country-including Salisbury, Gwelo and Bulawayo were violently disrupted by security forces of the Whitehead regime. In Bulawayo, members of the police shot and killed 11 people on 24 July.
Soon after these demonstrations the Law and Order (Maintenance) Act (LOMA) was enacted by the Rhodesian government. In 2002, the Zimbabwean government replaced LOMA with the Public Order and Security Act (POSA).
Chief police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba confirmed that soldiers were deployed after the Rhodesian era POSA Act was invoked.
Meanwhile, Emmerson Mnangagwa has been condemned for blaming the Harare killings on the opposition MDC Alliance.
A government source who spoke to ZwNews said Mnangagwa might actually be ‘innocent’ as he is not the one in charge of security forces.
“He does what they tell him to do, the guy is actually their(Army) puppet,” said the source on condition that he is not named.
But speculations are rife on the role of General(Rtd) Chiwenga in these developments after Tendai Biti of the opposition alleged that he(Chiwenga) had assigned assassins to kill Biti and Nelson Chamisa
Said one observer:
“Are we seeing a pattern here:- firstly the coup headed by Chiwenga, indiscriminate firing of striking all nurses by Chiwenga, indiscriminate use of live rounds on protesting civilians by….you guessed it Chiwenga. Our future is very worrying.”
Former Government Minister of Higher Education named Chiwenga as a key player in the events.
“By all accounts, the demonstration was peaceful. But this fellowship between the Police & demonstrators must have angered Chiwenga & Mnangagwa who responded by unleashing the Army, which in turn unleashed disproportionate force amounting to crimes against humanity!,” said Moyo.