Zimbabwe security forces on full alert ahead of polls

March 28th, 2008 - 9:03 pm ICT by admin  

Harare/Johannesburg, March 28 (DPA) Zimbabwe’s security forces were on “full alert” ahead of Saturday’s combined presidential, parliamentary and local elections, police commissioner Augustine Chihuri said Friday. Addressing a press conference in Harare Chihuri also repeated President Robert Mugabe’s warnings against “Kenya-style” violence by opposition supporters in the aftermath of the election, which is considered the most important in the country since independence from Britain in 1980.

“May we remind everyone that those who think and do evil may fear,” Chihuri said, adding the security forces were “up to the task of thwarting all threats to national security”.

“It is a monster who can devour its creator,” Chihuri said ominously.

Zimbabwe’s president and security chiefs have been threatening a quick put-down of any street protests, which are expected in the likely event of a disputed election outcome.

Mugabe, whose populist policies are blamed for Zimbabwe’s economic ruin, characterized by inflation of over 100,000 percent, is facing a stiff challenge to his 28-year rule from MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai and former finance minister, independent candidate Simba Makoni.

The opposition has said it expects the polls will not be free and fair, following signs of gerrymandering, the appearance of thousands of dead people on the voters’ roll and a vow by Mugabe that the opposition would never govern.

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