MUTARE:The situation in this eastern border city is calm as residents go about their normal business despite a call by the opposition to stay at their homes.
Businesses were operating as usual but there was a heavy police presence in the city centre and in all the high density suburbs.
The police are armed with AK rifles, teargas canisters and baton sticks. Water cannons were being driven throughout the suburbs.
There were no incidents of violence as of mid morning. However, there was a surprise presence of Chinese soldiers armed with revolvers in the city. The Chinese, together with about 70 Zimbabwean senior army officers are staying at the Holiday Inn, in the city's central business district.
There are about 10 Chinese soldiers. "We were shocked to see Chinese soldiers in their full military regalia and armed with pistols checking at the hotel," said one worker. "When they signed checking in forms they did not indicate the nature of business that they are doing and even their addresses."