The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) anti-riot unit received new uniforms earning the men & women in blue the name “Robocop” on social media.
This comes days after the Zimbabwe government announced plans to rename ZRP to Zimbabwe Police Service (ZPS).
Zimbabwe police officers recently received paramilitary training and the government purchased an assortment of weapons, including AK assault rifles, grenades and sniper rifles in preparation for protests.
There is a growing disillusionment in Zimbabwe over the failure of President Mnangagwa’s so-called “New dispensation” which has turned out to be more of the same.
Mnangagwa came to power in November 2017 after a military coup led by former army commander and now vice president Constantino Chiwenga toppled ex-president Robert Mugabe.
He promised to root out corruption, jobs, healthcare, freedom and a prosperous Zimbabwe but the last 2 years have seen his government following in his predecessor’s footsteps.
A post-election protests was quickly clamped down on August 1 last year resulting in six people being shot in the back by soldiers deployed by Mnangagwa.
Opposition and civil society leaders have been abducted, arrested and tortured the same way Mugabe did during his 37-year rule.
In January the president doubled the price of fuel resulting in a protest that ended with at least 17 people dead at the hands of state security agents.
According to Zimbabwe’s statistical agency, the year-on-year inflation rate for the month of May rose to 97,85% but US economist Steve Hanke said its actually 397%.
The recent move to buy guns and train an already brutal state security apparatus in the face of has been roundly condemned as evidence of the “crocodile”( Mnangagwa’s totem) showing its teeth.