THE police have warned that perpetrators of political violence before, during and after elections will face the full wrath of the law.
The warning comes after presidential aspirant Saviour Kasukuwere yesterday threatened to unleash violence across the country and make it ungovernable despite international observers hailing the peaceful environment in the build-up to the elections.
Kasukuwere wanted to stand as an independent presidential candidate, but lost his Supreme Court appeal to nullify the High Court decision excluding him from contesting in the August 23 elections after he fell foul of the law which forbids anyone who did not reside in the country for a consecutive 18 months from contesting.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said any disturbances aimed at discrediting the polls would not be tolerated.
“The law is very clear. Anyone who incites people to engage in acts of violence will face the due consequences of the law,” he said.
“We are not going to tolerate any form of political violence meant to discredit these important national processes.
“We want the people of Zimbabwe to exercise their voting right in a peaceful and tranquil environment.
“Police officers are going to arrest all perpetrators of violence regardless of their political affiliation.”
Asst Comm Nyathi urged political leaders to inform the police whenever they wanted to hold political gatherings, imploring political leaders to preach the gospel of peace.
Addressing the media in Harare yesterday, Kasukuwere’s representative Mr Jim Kunaka said they were planning to demonstrate against the Supreme Court ruling.
Kunaka has been warned on numerous occasions against threatening to unconstitutionally remove President Mnangagwa from power.
President Mnangagwa has on numerous platforms called on Zimbabweans to shun violence, observe peace and respect the sanctity of life as the country holds the elections.
Justice Antonia Guvava of the Supreme Court, sitting with Justice Chinembiri Bhunu and Justice Felistas Chatukuta sealed Kasukuwere’s fate when she delivered the court’s judgment upholding the lower court’s decision.
“After carefully listening to the submissions yesterday, we are of the firm view that the appeal lacks merit. The appeal is hereby dismissed with no order as to costs,” said Justice Guvava.
The High Court recently ruled that Kasukuwere was no longer an eligible voter, and therefore, could not contest any election.