Harare (New Ziana) – The opposition planned July 31 anti-government demonstrations are a threat to the safety and security of Zimbabweans, as such law enforcement agencies will be on high alert to thwart any violent disturbances, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said on Wednesday.
Apart from exposing people to the deadly Covid-19, authorities are concerned that the demonstrations will turn violent as seen in previous demonstrations organised by the opposition.
Already, two political activist linked to the planned demonstrations- Hopewell Chin’ono and Jacob Ngarivhume have been arrested and charged with inciting violence.
Both were remanded in custody to next month.
The government views the planned marches as a disguise to unconstitutionally remove it from power.
President Mnangagwa said the demonstrations were also a threat to Zimbabwe’s democracy, constitutionalism and rule of law.
He described those behind the demonstrations as terrorists masquerading as opposition parties and activists.
“It must never be in doubt that the objectives of these rogue Zimbabweans, acting in cahoots with foreign appendages, supporters and financiers, is to stage an insurrection to overthrow our democratically elected government,” he told the ruling Zanu PF party politburo meeting.
“Furthermore, in view of the Covid-19 pandemic their planned July 31 demonstration is a threat to the safety and security of our people and the people’s right to life. The planned insurrection of 31 July 2020 is connected to the violence and destabilisation that opposition elements has fomented since 2018 including the 1st f August 2018 violence and the 14-16 January violent disturbances which led to the loss of lives.
“Emboldened and inspired by the upcoming Hero’s day and Defence Forces Day commemorations, Zanu PF as the people’s party will never standby and allow our people to be put in harm’s way. We will equally defend our independence and sovereignty to the letter and not betray the fallen heroes and heroines who paid the supreme sacrifice.”
President Mnangagwa added: “I want to warn the organisers of this ill fated demonstration that our security services will be vigilant and on high alert to appropriately respond to their shenanigans.”