News and Information

Mugabe 'building up his arsenal' before polls
November 17, 2004

November 17 2004 at 01:01PM

President Robert Mugabe has ordered tons of police anti-riot equipment and other military hardware worth millions of dollars from China to prepare his security forces for quelling anti-government protests before and after next March's general elections.

Authoritative sources said the police and the military were being fully prepared to deal with internal disturbances being mooted by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) should it boycott next year's poll.

Mugabe has opted for equipment from China after several European countries imposed an arms embargo on his regime.

The exact details of the new order placed slightly over a week ago could not be ascertained, but officials said police anti-riot equipment, including several tons of teargas, would constitute the bulk.

It is understood that the MDC is planning a sustained civil disobedience campaign if it decides to boycott next year's poll.

MDC spokespersons have not publicly spoken about their "Plan B", but in private, party officials say the MDC is not prepared to become irrelevant or die a natural death. - Independent Foreign Service


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