SENIOR STAFF WRITER
JITTERY authorities have once again warned the opposition and civil society groups planning to hold unsanctioned mass demonstrations on July 31 that they will be treated like terrorists and likely end up being jailed, the Daily News reports.
“If you look at the Public Health Act that was used by the president to pronounce a state of public emergency … once that is declared it means certain fundamental rights will be limited in that regard.“It’s a justifiable limitation of a right. Now you find certain individuals … pursuing their agenda of demonstrating in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.“If you try to analyse that thinking, you then realise that the agenda is to make sure that our people die … and hence it is something that cannot be tolerated,” Ziyambi told the Daily News.
“Going forward you will hear the president making pronouncements but our security forces … are on high alert to ensure that any terrorist activity will be dealt with accordingly.
“The president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, faces growing threats to his authority stemming from ongoing economic and political crises, which are being exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.“Several clashes have occurred between workers and the security services as many people struggle to earn a living.
“Further unrest is likely as restrictions remain in place for most workers and the economic crisis continues.“Mr Mnangagwa came to office promising sweeping political and economic changes, raising public and international expectations,” the EIU said in its latest report on Zimbabwe.
This had raised fears that it could set the stage for potentially bloody clashes between the protesters and often trigger-happy security forces — particularly after both the government and the ruling Zanu PF vowed to crush the demos, claiming that the protests were meant to topple Mnangagwa from power.
“We are not going to let go if we don’t get the result we want,” the main organiser of the protests, Jacob Ngarivhume, said on Thursday.
* Read the full interview with Ziyambi on P5