THE Government has warned the opposition MDC Alliance against breaking the law after the party notified the police that they intend to hold demonstrations in Bulawayo and other areas countrywide on Thursday and Friday.
Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Cain Mathema yesterday said law enforcement agents are on high alert to ensure that peace prevails nationwide and anyone caught transgressing will face the full wrath of the law.
This comes after police last week issued a prohibition order barring the MDC-A from demonstrating and the Bulawayo Magistrate’s Court upheld the ban.
The opposition party notified the police about its latest plans on Saturday. The two parties are expected to meet today ahead of the planned Thursday and Friday demos.
“Police will be on high alert to ensure that peace prevails in every part of the country. The constitution allows people to demonstrate but those who will be caught on the wrong side of the law will face the consequences. Zimbabwe is a democratic and peaceful country,” said Minister Mathema.
He urged members of the public not to allow the MDC Alliance to use them through senseless demonstrations.
“People should not allow the MDC Alliance to use them. The party should follow the constitution, which it took part in writing. They don’t know what they want. They run to the courts on every issue but they still don’t want to listen to the courts,” said Minister Mathema.
He said President Mnangagwa was the legitimate Head of State and it was unfortunate if the opposition party does not want to recognise his leadership.
Minister Mathema said it was important for the country to move away from the election mode and focus on the economy and development.
MDC Alliance Bulawayo provincial spokesperson Swithern Chirowodza yesterday confirmed that the party plans to hold demonstrations this week, saying they have notified the police.
Mr Chirowodza could not be drawn into giving further details about the protests, saying the party was still in the process of organising.
“We’ve resolved to have nationwide peaceful demonstrations on August 29 and 30. I’m not privy to other details because we’re still organising as a party, but I can confirm that the protests will be nationwide.
“We’ve notified the police about our intentions and we’ll have a meeting tomorrow as part of our preliminaries and further consultations,” said Mr Chirowodza.
In a letter to the MDC-A dated August 24, Officer Commanding Bulawayo Central District, Chief Superintendent Elizabeth Phiri, invited the MDC Alliance to a consultative meeting.
“We acknowledge receipt of your notice dated August 24, 2019, which I received on the same date on notification to hold peaceful demonstrations on August 29 and 30, 2019.
“You’re invited in terms of section 26 of the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) on August 26, 2019 to attend a consultative meeting at your earliest convenience at Bulawayo Central District Headquarters,” reads the letter.