American funded organisations not above the law – President Mnangagwa
Yokohama, Japan (New Ziana) – President Emmerson
Mnangagwa said on Wednesday the rule of law in Zimbabwe equally
applied to every citizen and even American funded organisations
operating in the country were not immune.
Responding to questions on government’s alleged crackdown on the
opposition, President Mnangagwa, who is in Japan attending the seventh
edition of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development
(Ticad 7) told Japanese media that there were no “double standards”
when it comes to the application of the law.
The country’s main opposition, the Movement for Democratic Change and
some non-governmental organisations (NGOs) were up in arms with the
government following a ban on their proposed protest marches last week.
The demonstrations, which were prohibited by both the police and courts for security reasons, were ostensibly meant to push the government to urgently address the country’s economic challenges.
Following the ban, police clashed with, and arrested scores of opposition supporters, mainly youths, who defied the court order against protesting.
“There is not an incident where the rule of law has been breached, not
even one incident. We apply the rule of law. Those who commit crime,
the law must apply,” President Mnangagwa said.
“You cannot have double standards where the rule of law, when it deals
with people who are supported by the Americans, funded by the Americans, when they commit crimes, we should not touch them, no.”
He said observance of the rule of law was not meant to please outsiders but was for the good of Zimbabweans.
“Zimbabwe is a unitary state and our laws apply to every citizen,
whether you are in the opposition or are in government or you do not
belong to any political party at all, if you commit murder you get
arrested, corruption or any violent act you get arrested, that is the
rule of law which we observe,” he said.
Reports indicated the American embassy in Zimbabwe was heavily involved
in planning and carrying out the demonstrations.
America, which has imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe for nearly two decades, is pursuing a regime change agenda and is the major funder of the opposition and anti-government NGOs in the country.