VICTORIA FALLS is literally under lockdown as State security agents descended on the resort town ahead of President Robert Mugabe ’s 91st birthday bash tomorrow.
Reports from the town indicate that security agents besieged the resort town early this week and a number of Zimbabwe Republic Police officers in riot gear have turned the town into a sea of blue and grey.
“They are everywhere,” a resident said.
“Most of them are in plain clothes such that if you are not conversant with security issues you wouldn’t tell whether they are security agents or ordinary people going about their business.
“However, for us who have been staying here for a long time and experiencing such high security events, we are aware of their presence and the situation is very tense and intimidating to residents.”
Sources said such heightened security in the resort town was last seen last August during Mugabe’s crowning moment — when he took over the Sadc chairmanship. A police source said they had deployed heavily in Victoria Falls to maintain peace and order.
“As you are aware, this function is a high-profile one, so we need maximum security as a huge number of people will be coming into the town,” he said.
“So we should make sure that our presence is noticed to deter would-be offenders.”
The police source said Mugabe’s presence in the resort town meant that they had to be thorough in their deployments to make sure that there was no area that remained uncovered.
“We have to saturate the town with policemen on foot and bicycles in uniform and plain clothes to provide the necessary security,” he explained.
“Some of our policemen will be at the celebrations venue.”
In December 2011, security agents put Bulawayo on lockdown during a Zanu PF conference.
Helicopters were hovering over the city skyline and riot police, armed to the teeth, patrolled everywhere, creating a siege mentality in the area.
The 21st February Movement main celebrations will be held at Elephant Hills Golf Course tomorrow, while a gala will be held at Chinotimba Stadium soon after the main event.
A total of 111 children born on February 21 will be hosted at Victoria Falls farm school today.