Government will not condone or tolerate any acts of violence, intimidation and incitement to commit lawlessness in the country during the election period and has activated all security institutions to be on high alert. The MDC-Alliance led by Mr Nelson Chamisa has been threatening violence at rallies if he loses harmonised elections set for Monday next week.
Addressing a Press conference in Harare last night, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Dr Obert Mpofu said Government had a duty to maintain law and order and ensure that there was peace and security.
“The Government of Zimbabwe wishes to advise the nation and foreign visitors alike that the security situation in the country remains calm and peaceful,” he said.
“However, as Government we are deeply concerned with threats of violence, intimidation and use of hate speech that has been steeped up by some political parties, who have openly declared that they will shut down Zimbabwe and make it ungovernable.
“As the Minister of Home Affairs, let me categorically state that we will not allow or condone or tolerate any acts of violence, intimidation and incitement to commit lawlessness in the country.”
Dr Mpofu said Government took exception to such conduct meant to derail the peace prevailing in the country.
“Government has a duty to maintain law and order and ensure that there is peace and security,” he said. “It is against this background that I call upon all political parties to abide by the laws of this country.
“Every political party, group or individuals should share the same space while exercising their constitutional right and should be balanced with the maintenance of law and order in the country.
“Let me reiterate that both State and human security are of paramount importance to us as Government during this election period, hence our security institutions are on high alert. Let me also remind those who are planning demonstrations that they have an obligation to respect the laws of the country.”
Minister Mpofu said Government opened the democratic space, but that right must not be abused by anyone.
“The Government of Zimbabwe is doing all it can to ensure that every citizen exercises his/her democratic right to vote,” he said. “We have, therefore, put all State security apparatus on high alert and all those bent on causing disorder are being warned that the long arm of the law will be applied without fear or favour.
“The Zimbabwe Government is a signatory to various international conventions that guard against all forms of discrimination and violence against women. It is, therefore, with deep concern and regret that we have noticed that some political parties have resorted to using violence and unpalatable threats against women through social media.
“Let us also take heed of His Excellency, Cde E.D Mnangagwa’s continuous calls for peace and tolerance.”
Dr Mpofu said the police, together with other security organisations, will continue monitoring the security situation in the country. The Press conference was attended by the ministry’s permanent secretary Mr Melusi Matshiya, police Commissioner General Godwin Matanga and police Deputy Comm-Gen Levie Sibanda.