Citizens being beaten and harassed in Bulawayo

Source: 16 June 2020Democracy, Human Rights

Bulawayo residents are being denied entry into the Central Business District this morning. Roadblocks manned by army officials and the police are reportedly turning away ZUPCO buses and all private vehicles with only the civil servants comprising nurses, police, and army details being allowed to proceed.

There are reports of beatings by security forces driving people in bank and fuel queues out of the CBD. 

No warnings were issued by the government or security forces prohibiting citizens from going to work or accessing the CBD, this came as a shock to many residents as they were told they are not allowed into town today.

ZUPCO bus drivers and conductors were reportedly informing residents that they were instructed by army officials to carry civil servants only.

Residents who were not falling under today’s ‘essential service’ category were told to disembark from the buses at a roadblock in Matshobana and private cars were turned back.

Some business reportedly informed their staff not to report for work as they were reportedly instructed by the army not to open.

This development comes after President Emerson Mnangagwa relaxed lockdown regulations opening up for church gatherings and informal trading which saw normalization of the situation and an increase in vehicular movement of citizens as they do their day to day business.

Yesterday was the national day of prayer to seek God’s intervention into the Covid-19 pandemic and the country’s increase in socio-economic challenges.

The shift from yesterday’s religious intervention to beatings this morning is a worrisome development.

Source: Habakkuk Trust