A highly placed source in the Joint Operations Command (JOC) in Harare has refuted reports that the government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa recently purchased about 3 343 AK-47 assault rifles and about 600 sniper rifles to prepare for the looming protests aimed at overthrowing the current government.
Said the source, “The reports that there was purchased those specific weapons is untrue my brother. The reality of the matter is that the government ordered a sizeable number of teargas and rubber bullets from our African brothers (name withheld) so that we can capacitate the law enforcement agents during crowd control and the use of minimum force necessary to disperse rowdy crowds.”
The source said the armory was running out of supply in terms of crowd control weapons which is dangerous because when confronted with worse crowds than the January ones it might be difficult to handle them without resorting to live ammunition.
“The situation as it is, is a bit tricky because if we are faced with a nationwide offensive it might be difficult to control the crowds. Some of our water canons are running out of water, we do not have enough vehicles to deploy manpower all over the country to maintain law and order without the use of live ammunition.
The situation is made worse by the fuel levels that are there in the country. Suppose there is a nationwide burning of buildings like before it will be difficult to liase with fire brigade officers to be deployed because some of their have no adequate water and fuel to handle the situation if it becomes volatile. The reports going around are meant to create disharmony in the country and cause a panic mode which is not healthy for the country and for its development. The image that is projected is that of a system that is in a war mode.”
The reports had said the police also ordered sniper rifles which are high-precision weapons designed for killing missions which serve to fulfil the tactical need for long range surveillance, with a high hit probability. JOC is the supreme organ for the coordination of state security in the country.