President Emmerson Mnangagwa has spoken on the MDC planned demonstrations against his government which is scheduled for August 16.
In a high level meeting held on Thursday at his offices in the capital, Mnangagwa is said to have given the greenlight for the demonstrations provided that violence does not erupt.
Sources who spoke to the Zim Morning Post said Mnangagwa said demonstrations will go on undisturbed as planned unless there is need for interference from the security forces.
“The President said the demonstrations will go undisturbed by the security forces but any sign of violence will be dealt with with the necessary measure of force required,” said the source.
The permanent secretary in the ministry of information, publicity and broadcasting services Nick Mangwana confirmed that the demonstration would go on undisturbed.
“The president who is also the head of state as said the demonstration will go on with no disturbances from the security forces unless there in need for involvement,” he said.
“In terms of section 59 of the Constitution, it is every person’s right to demonstrate and the government will not infringe on this right. Security forces are found in every establishment for the reason of safeguarding human life, dignity, property, peace and maintain order. It is the duty of the forces to ensure the safety and protection of individuals participating in the demonstrations and also those not participating.”
Mnangagwa is caught between a rock and a hard place in the spirit of constitutionalism which states that people have the right to demonstrate while on the other hand through their demonstrations, they should do so in a peaceful manner and not infringe on the rights of those who chose not to participate.
Section 58 (2)of the Constitution read;
“No person may be compelled to belong to an association or to attend a meeting or gathering.”
Section 59 of the Constitution read;
“Every person has the right to demonstrate and to present petitions, but these rights must be exercised peacefully.”
The greenlight issued by Mnangagwa comes at a time when the police have been notified of the demonstration by the MDC.
In an interview with the Zim Morning Post Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi made indications to the effect that weapons meant to be used during the demonstration had been retrieved from critical points where violence erupts in the country.
The new dispensation has been seized by violent demonstration, on August 1, 2018 six civillians were killed and 35 others were reported to be injured.
On January 14, the country was also rocked with violent demonstrations which saw people injured.