There was tight security at the National Sports Stadium (NSS) in Harare this week where President Emmerson Mnangagwa was officiating at the Defence Forces Day commemorations. Journalists were kept at a distance and could not operate from the usually allowed parameters.
Journalists from various private media were kept in a semi-cage like confinement, and told to operate only from there.Those from Zimpapers and Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, and officials from the defence forces were given usual accessibility to film and take pictures.
This also followed heavy security presence that engulfed the National Heroes Acre the day before, where security cameras, heavily armed soldiers, police officers, and CIOs, hundreds others planted into the crowds turned the environment unease and tense.
Mnangagwa whose presidential security was breached twice is leaving nothing to chance, following an attempt on his life at a stadium in Bulawayo last year.
One incident of security breach happened when an intruder (Moses Mavusa) attempted to get a picture with the President, after sneaking through all the security barricades to reach the main stage, he (Mnangagwa) himself had to push the intruder off. The incident was caught on camera.
Another incident happened when one self styled prophet Gathry Chiredzero impersonated a state agent using a fake ID, and controlled the crowd during the cabinet swearing in ceremony at the state house, before doing the same during the renaming ceremony of the King George V barracks to Josiah Magamba Tongogara.
He was arrested and charged with possession of offensive weapons at public gathering, impersonating a public official, and forgery when he appeared before a Harare magistrate.
Meanwhile, ever since the White City Stadium explosion that missed him by a whisker, Mnangagwa had been beefing up his personal security, amid fears of internal disharmony in his party.
During the Defence Forces Day at NSS, heavily armed security details sandwiched Mnangagwa giving him no breathing space. Some of them could be seen, wielding the not so effective briefcase guns. The major undoing of these guns is that they are difficult to reload with bullets, hard to train at a target, and easy to seize during a combat encounter.