Heavily armed anti-riot police yesterday patrolled streets in Harare and Bulawayo after two High Court decisions against opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC).
A Bulawayo High Court judge on Thursday barred 12 candidates from CCC from standing in next month’s election, handing three candidates, including Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube, a free ticket to Parliament.
The opposition party yesterday said it had appealed the ruling at the Supreme Court.
On the same day, however, Harare High Court judge Justice Neville Wamambo also dismissed an appeal by the opposition party challenging 17 “bogus” candidates it accused of forging party signatures to file their nomination papers.
Despite heavy police presence, Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube expressed ignorance about the deployment.
“I am not aware of that, I’m coming from court now. I have not seen that,” Ncube said.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi was not answering his mobile phone.
In interviews, various human rights defenders said government was in panic mode.
“Citizens have suffered enough but for how long? It follows that one day their anger will erupt,” Ibhetshu LikaZulu secretary-general Mbuso Fuzwayo said.
Another human rights defender Effie Ncube said: “I think the police are overreacting and making a mountain out of nothing.”