“The calls that have been made are for … staying away from work. Stay inside. So there won’t be anybody in the street.”
Al Jazeera’s Supa Mandiwanzira, reporting from Harare, said that local residents seem to be ignoring calls for the strike.
He said: “Many people are waiting for transport, going to work.”
“They are ignoring calls by the opposition to hold a strike. The MDC may not have the ability to effectively mobilise the population to hold this strike.”
Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the MDC, and his supporters were hoping Tuesday’s strike would put pressure on the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to release the results.
Wayne Bvudzijena, the national police spokesman, said police had been deployed throughout the country and “those who breach the peace will be dealt with severely and firmly”.
|Tsvangirai insists the MDC has won last
month’s presidential poll [AFP]
The MDC has been accused by police of trying to cause mayhem with the strike.
“The call by the MDC Tsvangirai faction is aimed at disturbing [the] peace and will be resisted firmly by the law enforcement agents whose responsibility is to maintain law and order in any part of the country,” Bvudzijena said.
Army trucks, some equipped with water cannons, moved on Tuesday through opposition strongholds around Harare and riot police and other officers set up checkpoints.
“This is a routine security exercise,” said a police officer at a checkpoint in a township controlled by the MDC.
They say Mugabe is preparing a violent response to his biggest electoral setback – his party also lost control of parliament in a vote held the same day.