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Military Presence in Zimbabwe Cities Raises Tensions as BVR Enters Phase 3

  • Marvellous Mhlanga-Nyahuye

Parliament of Zimbabwe

A member of Zimbabwe’s opposition Movement for Democratic Change led by former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai says tension is high in the country since the military took over the state broadcaster ZBC, and essentially put President Robert Mugabe under house arrest.

Jesse Majome, who represents Harare West, says day to business has also been affected as sightings of the military become common sight. She says passage of important bills such as the Electoral Reform will likely be delayed since the military has stopped people from entering the building for an indefinite period.

“I am a member of the portfolio committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and we were scheduled to go for public hearings today actually on the Electoral Amendment Bill, and yesterday the chairperson of the committee announced that public hearings have been put on hold till further notice,” said Majome.

While there has been no outbreak of violence around the country, Majome says there is an unsettling calm in the air, as people anxiously await what will happen next. The Biometric Voter Registration process which entered its 3rd phase Thursday, went largely unreported due to the tensions brought on by the uncertainty.

“The situation is like nothing I have seen before. It’s calm that is good, it’s peaceful, it’s quite but uncertain, you know, there’s anxieties and I think even tension,” Majome said.

Despite assurances by the military that the President Mugabe and his wife are safe and their security guaranteed, Majome said the assurances have not helped to ease the minds of many in the country still in shock over the events of the week.

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