Harare (New Ziana) – A rude awakening awaits opposition elements that have planned to unleash an orgy of violence in anti-government protests on July 31, a Cabinet Minister has said.
Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe said government was aware that the planned protests were an attempt at illegal and unconstitutional seizure of power.
“Government wishes to let the people of Zimbabwe that the intended reckless demonstrations of 31 July are banned and that the people should continue enjoying their peace and security on the day. Anyone who disregards this warning and proceeds to join the planned insurrection to steal power, will be met by the full wrath of the law,” he said.
“Government is not about to abdicate its constitutional responsibilities to the people of Zimbabwe, after all elections were held in 2018 and Zanu PF won a clear majority in a free and fair election. Those hungry for power are reminded that they are very free to peacefully campaign to do better in the 2023 elections, there will not be another method for obtaining power in Zimbabwe other than through the constitutional and democratic means.”
Kazembe said the police stood ready to defend the country’s peace and security in line with section 219 of the constitution which mandates the Police to preserve the internal security of Zimbabwe and to protect and secure the lives and property of Zimbabwe.
He said although the constitution provides for freedom to demonstrate and petition, people exercising these rights, should also take cognisance of section 86 of the constitution which provides for limitation of rights and freedoms in the interest of defence, public safety, public order, public morality, public health, regional or town planning or the general public interest.
“Let me also hasten to say that there is always the need to balance the rights of participants and non-participants. Experience has shown that demonstrations organized by the opposition and their Western handlers have, consistently and by design, degenerated into violence thereby occasioning loss of life, injury to people, destruction of and/or damage to property among other ills,” he said.
“The planned purported demonstrations of 31 July 2020, have already exhibited ingredients of violence. The 31 July 2020 planned insurrection, masquerading under misleading hash tag themes such as #July31, #PeoplePower, #Shutdown Zimbabwe, #CorruptionMustGo are, in actual fact, an attempt to reverse the outcome of the 31 July 2018 Harmonised General Elections as shown by the real main hash tags in use: #ZANUPFMustGo and #EDMustFall.
“Clearly, this is a criminal enterprise whose true intention has nothing to do with various innocuous problems in the country, but to further the opposition’s long-held wish to come to power through the overthrow of a legitimately elected Government. Therefore, Government rejects that 31 July is about anti-corruption or about some other well-meant intention.”
Kazembe added: “If you look at all the hash tags that are on Facebook and twitter, they are all saying Zanu PF must go, EDmust fall, (but) there is no election that we are aware of between today and Friday so how then does ED go? How then does Zanu PF fall, it can only be through unconstitutional means.
“All the ingredients of violence are there, all the signs are there. And besides other demonstrations that we have had in the past, all opposition organized demonstrations have always ended in violence, we have seen police cars burnt, we have seen buildings burnt but we are not going to allow that this time.”