Bulawayo residents stay away from CBD

Bulawayo residents stay away from CBD
Published: 18 August 2019 (159 Views)
BULAWAYO residents yesterday cautiously stayed away from the Central Business District (CBD), as news filtered in that police in Harare fired tear gas and hammered scores of opposition supporters.  While there were no demonstrations in the city, the residents and commuter operators appeared cautious, with the CBD moderately deserted, with vehicular and human population conspicuous by its low presence.  

The numbers however, improved as the day went by after some had reportedly confirmed that it was safe for them to get in town.
A snap survey conducted by this paper indicated that despite the demonstrations happening in the capital, police and State security agents in the second largest city were visibly on high alert, with ubiquitous patrols both in the CBD and high density suburbs.

A truck carrying armed soldiers was also seen patrolling the city's streets, in what was viewed as intimidation tactics ahead of the scheduled Bulawayo demo on Monday.

There were increased police road blocks and check points on most roads leading to the city centre. While a few companies chose to close for business, the larger section of business in the city remained operational.

It was, however, a bad day in the office for Zupco busses, which usually get overwhelmed by long queues, with most of the buses getting very few passengers. This in the end forced some buses to leave with only a few passengers on board as they struggled to fill up.

Informal traders at the usually busy Egodini site and some vegetable market sites only managed to set up their stalls mid-afternoon after having assessed the situation.

Meanwhile, the MDC Bulawayo province has vowed to forge ahead with its planned protest on Monday in the city, stating that police authorities had not hinted otherwise against the demonstrations.
This comes as the High Court upheld a police ban to protest in the capital. This was after the police had issued a prohibition order against the demonstrations.

"As for the MDC Bulawayo province, so far so good, we have not got any message from the police suggesting otherwise against the protests. We have been engaging the police, as the conveners of the demonstrations, and also with the business community after they raised concerns with the police over the disruption to their businesses," MDC Bulawayo provincial chairperson James Sithole said.

He added: "The business community has expressed worry of violence, looting and burning of their shops as happened in January but our message has been very clear that ours is a peaceful protest where we plan to petition government at its Mhlahlandlela complex over an array of grievances facing the citizenry."

- dailynews

Tags: cbd,
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