ED Mnangagwa Threatens MDC 16 August Protesters

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The Ministry of Home Affairs  has been advised by the police that the MDC Alliance has made several notifications to regulating Authorities in Harare, Bulawayo,  Gweru and other towns to hold demonstrations on the 16th, 19th and 20th of August 2019

The Government is fully aware and recognises section 58 and 59 of the constitution of Zimbabwe which grant citizens freedom of Assembly  and Association and freedom to demonstrate and petition.

On the other hand, my Ministry has a responsibility to ensure that there is law and order in all parts of the country as enshrined in section 219 (1)(c) and (d) of the constitution.

As Government, we are quiet aware there are political machinations to have these purported demonstrations turned into violent episodes  through the use of overt and covert means

These include the use of workshops by some NGOs, Executive Meetings by opposition  political groups sand labour Organisations.

My ministry has also observed an increase in social media posts where threats and intimidatory tactics have been issued.

Some of these messages are even dubbed March for our Lives, 16th August 2019 and the start of final push, Hatidzokere Kumba, Asibuyeli Emakhaya.

While the police is yet to give an official response on the notifications submitted by the opposition, the situation on the ground indicates that a lot of underhand activities under the guise of peaceful demonstrations are taking place with a view of fomenting violence, destruction of property, looting and attack on innocent citizens,  motor vehicles, private property and government buildings.

This has been buttressed by fliers seen in Epworth, Mbare, Kuwadzana, Glenview, and Chitungwiza where opposition political activists have been inplored to bring offensive and dangerous weapons for use against law enforcement agents during the purported demonstrations.

The Government has a responsibility to protect citizens from unruly elements and will certainly not renege on this huge responsibility.

Some street kids have even been mobilised to embark on destruction and looting of shops in return for some goodies.

Unmarked and plateless vehicles are being used to mobilise and pick the unidentified street kids in the CBDs.

We are also aware that some foreign nationals are now in the country on the pretext of being tourists yet they are activists who are working closely with the opposition to organise the perceived demonstrations.

The foreigners include one who is known for masterminding  the Arab Spring and the recent Sudan clashes.

Let me remind foreigners who are clearly dabbling in local politics that Zimbabwe is a sovereign state and will not allow people disguised  as tourists to come and promote anarchy and destruction of property in the country.

Zimbabweans are therefore urged to continue observing Peace and dutifully undertake their socio economic activities knowing very well that the police and other security services are there to protect anyone who wants to move freely in any part of the country.

I am ready as the Minister of Home Affairs and cultural heritage to deal with unruly elements who want to cause alarm and despondency in the country.

Members of the pyblic are accordingly implored to remain calm and not to be swayed into joining any violent conduct by the opposition under the pretext or guise of peaceful demonstrations.

Ambassador N.C.G. Mathema (Senator)
Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage