Government has put in place security measures to deal with malcontents planning to disturb the peace prevailing in the country through illegal demonstrations, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Cain Mathema said yesterday. He said the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) and other security agencies were on high alert to ensure law and order was maintained.
Anyone who attempts to unseat a constitutionally-elected Government, Minister Mathema said, will face the full wrath of the law. The warning follows utterances by MDC-Alliance leader Mr Nelson Chamisa that his party was mobilising its supporters to march against the Government.
Mr Chamisa told his supporters in Dulivhadzimo, Beitbridge, that the march will be held soon.
Said Minister Mathema: "On behalf of the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage and the Government of Zimbabwe, I want to appeal to all peace-loving Zimbabweans to continue observing peace and contribute towards the maintenance of law and order by shunning all forms of violence and demonstrations which are meant to cause disharmony in the country.
"We are aware that there are some political leaders and civil organisations that are agitating for the unseating of the constitutionally elected Government of Zimbabwe through demonstrations.
"The Government is also fully aware that some elements want to register their displeasure on the recently announced economic austerity measures and whip up public emotion to aid their selfish political expediency."
Minister Mathema said security agencies were ready to deal with anyone found breaking the law.
"May I, therefore, reiterate that the Government has put the necessary security measures in place to ensure that law and order is maintained and anyone who is found inciting violence, intimidating people going about their business, advocating for illegal gatherings and influencing civil servants to go on strike, will certainly face the full wrath of the law," he said.
"Law enforcement agencies will not hesitate to hold convenors of illegal gatherings or demonstrations responsible for any ensuing disturbances which include violence and destruction of property in the country, particularly in the central business district (of Harare).
"While Government is seized with the matter of normalising the economic situation as promised by His Excellency, E.D. Mnangagwa, my ministry urges all progressive Zimbabweans to shun illegal activities and continue observing peace in the country."
Minister Mathema said violence had in the past led to wanton destruction of property, maiming and loss of life.
"Hate speech and inflammatory utterances have no place in our country," Minister Mathema said.
"Let us work together to promote peace and economic stability in the country by engaging in lawful acts.
"The Zimbabwe Republic Police and other security agencies have been put on high alert to ensure law and order are maintained. Members of the public and the business community are urged to continue with their day-to-day activities as police patrols have been intensified."