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Mugabe scares off 'a million men march'

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Mugabe scares off 'a million men march'

Post  mara thon on Wed 2 Mar - 22:06


By KITSEPILE NYATHI in Harare (email the author)

Posted Tuesday, March 1 2011 at 17:10
Intensified army patrols and a heavy police presence in the streets of the capital Harare appear to have scared off activists who planned protests against Zimbabwe’s long-time ruler President Robert Mugabe on Tuesday.

Unidentified Zimbabweans have been mobilising people through social networks such as Facebook and Twitter since last week for what they termed “a million men march”.

The activists were calling for protests similar to those that toppled Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak and Ben Ali of Tunisia.

However, soldiers in armoured cars and truckloads of anti-riot police started making rounds in high-density suburbs on Saturday in an apparent show of force.

The Harare Gardens, a huge park in the city’s Central Business District – identified as the venue for the protests - was deserted at lunchtime, hours after the demonstrations were scheduled to begin.

Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa said he was not aware that the army was patrolling the streets.

Fearing arrest

However, last week he warned that any Egypt or Tunisia style demonstrations in Zimbabwe will be dealt with harshly.

The organisers had also not campaigned openly except on the internet, perhaps fearing arrest.

mara thon
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