The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has alleged that the country is on the brink of a civil war being plotted by social media activists.
The claim emerged in a statement used to ban an application by the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to hold its anniversary in Bulawayo on 11 September.
Bulawayo police threw out the application, insisting there was a serious threat to national security and thus police could not entertain political gatherings.
“Serious threats have been received from various pressure groups through social media inciting people to declare a full war in Zimbabwe starting on September 2,” said the officer commanding Bulawayo West district police, Chief Superintendent Mthokozisi Manzini Moyo in the statement to PDP.
“We do not take these threats lightly and we have remained on high alert since September 1, a situation that has strained our resource utilisation,” Moyo added, saying he had invoked the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) to ban the PDP rally.
Government has already branded social media activists, some of who used digital means to mobilise citizens to protest recently, terrorists, and is railroading a cyber crime bill in response to angry demonstrations that have rocked President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF government.