Gwanda (New Ziana) – Gwanda resembled a ghost town on Friday as residents defied opposition calls for street protests, and largely stayed indoors instead.
The opposition, seeking to revive waning political fortunes caused by ongoing leadership squabbles, had called for protests against alleged corruption in government.
But the real motive was unmasked as an attempt to unseat the government unconstitutionally after foreign covert involvement was discovered.
This forced the authorities to outlaw the protests, and also on grounds they posed a Covid-19 health hazard as well.
Gwanda residents largely stayed home on Friday in compliance with Covid-19 restrictions, only venturing out in small numbers to shops and other similar places.
Big retail shops such as OK supermarket and local retailers Zapalala and Mkoko were open for trade.
Police, like elsewhere in the country, maintained a heavy presence on
the town’s streets to ensure law and order.
Regional police spokesperson, Philisani Ndebele said Gwanda residents had heeded warnings not to take part in the illegal protests.
“We announced yesterday (Thursday) that people should stay at their homes to avoid the unnecessary brushes with the law,” Ndebele said.