The Government has called on Zimbabweans to shun violent demonstrations by the MDC Alliance planned for today and tomorrow saying the country was on a recovery path and should not be derailed by chaos.
In a statement yesterday, the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Cain Mathema said the MDC Alliance was now playing to the gallery after the party notified regulating authorities in all police districts and stations of their intended demonstrations today and tomorrow.
“It is clear that the MDC Alliance is now playing to the gallery and does not want law and order to prevail in the country. While constitutionalism exists in Zimbabwe in terms of observance of human rights, it is disturbing that these rights which are clearly espoused in the constitution are now being misused to foment disorder and cause anarchy in the country,” said Minister Mathema.
“The Government of Zimbabwe is quite aware that the timing of these demonstrations is meant to draw the attention of the international community especially when the President has intensified the country’s re-engagement process at various regional and international fora.”
Minister Mathema said the MDC Alliance and its partners intend to hire buses and other vehicles to ferry people to various centres for unlawful gatherings.
“Transport operators, both public and private, should not be used as destabilising agents in the country. Let me reiterate that anyone caught on the wrong side of the law will be dealt with without fear or favour. Vehicles used to promote lawlessness will certainly be impounded by the police,” said Minister Mathema.
“We urge members of the public not to take heed of retrogressive calls to join or participate in the demonstrations. Government in its entirety is working day in day out to improve the socio-economic situation in the country. Let us all support these efforts for the good of the country and promote peace in all corners of Zimbabwe.”
Minister Mathema said some individuals, non governmental and civic organisations were openly engaging in political acts as a ploy to raise funds from the international community and at the same time tarnishing the country’s image in the pursuit of a regime change agenda.
“The Government of Zimbabwe is also disturbed by the activities of some diplomatic missions in Zimbabwe who are engaging in local politics and clearly showing open support for opposition political parties in the country through various activities.
“Let me remind the missions that the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (1961) Article 41(1) emphasises the duty of diplomats who are supposed to respect the laws and regulations of the receiving state and they are duty bound not to interfere with the internal or domestic affairs of the receiving state.
“My Ministry is therefore concerned by the security implications of these diplomatic missions’ interference and visits to private residences of some opposition political party leaders under the guise of diplomatic engagement,” said Minister Mathema.
“The nation cannot afford to be having demonstrations on a daily basis or weekly basis, the economy suffers as attention is taken away from key activities which as a country we should be focused upon.
:We cannot continue to be in the election mode indefinitely as this creates a security threat to the country.”
Minister Mathema said the Government was also aware of manoeuvres to rope in civil servants in the demonstrations through the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union which has openly engaged in opposition party politics.
“The Government has a way of interacting with its workers without alarming and threatening messages being sent. My Ministry is concerned by the MDC Alliance’s continuous agenda of dividing and polarising the nation. This agenda will not work as the Commissioner General of Police has been given the responsibility to ensure that law and order is maintained in every village, district and province and the nation at large,” said Minister Mathema.
He assured Zimbabweans that law enforcement agents were on high alert to deal with any acts of lawlessness in the country.
“May I urge Zimbabweans to remain calm and not to be hoodwinked to join unlawful gatherings or demonstrations which are meant to benefit individuals at the expense of the people of Zimbabwe,” said Minister Mathema.