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Situation Tense in Bulawayo After Crippling Stay Away

Life back to normal at Bulawayo's famous Egodini Omnibus Terminus.
Life back to normal at Bulawayo's famous Egodini Omnibus Terminus.

The situation was back to normal in Bulawayo on Thursday with banks, shops as well as other businesses open and ordinary people going about their usual business.

Despite a heavy presence by the police in the central business district and in the high density suburbs, there was relative calm throughout, even in Makokoba, where police yesterday clashed with protesters.

Commuter omnibus operators were back on the roads as it was business as usual. A commuter omnibus driver, who only identified himself as Jabulani, said like most of his colleagues he had heeded Wednesday’s stay away and was hoping to make up for the lost time.

There was the usual hive of activity at the flea market centres on Lobengula Street and Egodini Commuter Omnibus Terminus with some of the vendors saying they were happy to be back at work.

But some of the people, who spoke to Studio 7, said they are still anxious that there could be more violent protests as ordinary people continue to experience hardships due to the continuing economic crisis in the country.

One such person is a secretary who only identified herself as Kudzai and works for an insurance firm.

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In most schools which Studio 7 visited, particularly primary schools, teachers reported for duty, but nearly half of the school children were absent. Most of those who had come to school spent the day playing in the school grounds or retuned home early.

The situation was reported to be the same as Wednesdayat Bulawayo’s major hospitals as most doctors and nurses did not report for work.

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights deployed more lawyers to Bulawayo to help represent nearly 100 people, who were arrested in the city, in the wake of yesterday’s protests.

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights regional manager Lizwe Jamela told Studio 7 over the phone that only four of those arrested had so far appeared in court.

He, however, could not provide further details as he said he was busy coordinating efforts to ensure that those who remain in custody are released or brought to court.

Most of those who were arrested during Wednesday’s protest are expected to appear in court Friday.