Govt to tighten screws on protesters

HARARE - Government has threatened to deal with opposition parties who are planning to protest this year saying they are abusing the “new found” freedom.

In an interview with the Daily News yesterday Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs minister, Ziyambi Ziyambi said in 2019 the government will not hesitate to take action against opposition parties that are planning to hold demonstrations.

“MDC is failing to uphold the Constitution, they are playing double standards, it is the very same Constitution which declared President Emmerson Mnangagwa as the winner, ironically they are refusing to accept the verdict of the Constitutional Court but they want to use the same Constitution to demonstrate.”

“Our laws are very clear; we want to hold them for their actions using the same laws. We can’t continue to have people who abuse the law for their own benefit. There are limitations on demonstration rights.”

Asked if the government is planning to amend the country’s laws so that they can thwart any demonstration, Ziyambi said the laws are there to deal with any form of unlawful protest.

“For the amendment we need two thirds majority and a referendum but currently we have adequate laws to deal with this. We are going to respect and uphold the Constitution but we are not going to tolerate those who abuse the rights of other people in the name of demonstrations.

“I think the MDC leadership is potraying a childish behaviour because they are saying they don’t want to recognise ... Mnangagwa’s victory but they want to ask questions to ministers in Parliament forgetting that all the ministers were appointed by ... Mnangagwa.”

Ziyambi’s sentiments come after Zanu PF secretary for youth league Pupurai Togarepi promised that they would crush all dissenting voices in the new year.

“We have been tolerant … before and after elections. We won’t take any prisoners in 2019. Any provocation will be confronted head-on. 

“The rules of the game have completely changed,” Togarepi said.

MDC president Nelson Chamisa has been brawling with Mnangagwa ever since he narrowly lost the hotly-disputed July 30 presidential election — whose result he vigorously challenged at the Con-Court.

The youthful opposition leader even went to the extent of accusing the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) of manipulating the poll results in favour of the Zanu PF leader.

But Mnangagwa’s victory was upheld by the Con-Court, which ruled that Chamisa had failed to provide evidence that he had won the election.

Last month, he held a massive demonstration in Harare where he lashed at Mnangagwa, exhorting the president to act on the deteriorating political and economic situation.

Meanwhile, Ziyambi said the government is in a process of building strong institutions to curb corruption.

“We have the political will to end corruption. Since 1980 up to 2017 our institutions have been weak to deal with corruption. After the coming in of Mnangagwa we are now busy strengthening those institutions so that we can curb corruption. In 2019 you are going to see a lot of convictions; we have an acting Prosecutor General who is hungry to stop corruption.”


Comments (3)

I fully agree Cde Minister - who denied Chamisa his chosen legal counsel - Should we not tell the French to respect their constitution and stop the yellow vest protests, as well. Such nefarious activities will only energise the Zimbabwean freedom base. Finally, is it constitutional to refuse falling standards of living under the new dispensation?

Mega Deals Branch - 1 January 2019

There is absolutely nothing in the constitution to curtail people's demonstrations. Destroying property, well that's a different thing that can be left for the courts. But to curtail freedoms by restricting demonstrations? That's primitive. You want us to smile and wave and pretend all is well? When babies are in discomfort they cry. Don't restrictions our cries you blind fool.

Moe Syszlack - 2 January 2019

The minister has no idea that it is the state of the economy making those demonstrations and as zanupf they have no clue how to fix the economy no amount of threats and killings will fix the economy.

Sinyo - 2 January 2019

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