By Freeman Razemba
Police yesterday said they will be on high alert today during the MDC-Alliance planned demonstration following indications that some rogue elements within the party were planning to cause mayhem and anarchy in and around the city.
This also comes after Government recently said MDC-Alliance and its leadership will be held accountable if their planned demonstration resulted in loss of life, limb or damage to property.
MDC-Alliance leader Mr Nelson Chamisa, who last week branded as “stupid” demonstrators who took part in the August 1 demonstrations which left six people dead and damaged property, said his party will march against the Government.
In a statement yesterday, chief police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said those who cause violence will be dealt with according to the law.
She said the regulating authority, the ZRP, had sanctioned the planned demonstration.
“Intelligence at hand indicates that some elements are planning to cause violence, disrupt the smooth flow and the peaceful environment in Harare’s Central Business District,” said Snr Asst Comm Charamba.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police is on high alert monitoring the situation to ensure all those who will cause violence are dealt with according to the law.
“This information has already been communicated to the conveners. Law enforcement agents will not hesitate to arrest anyone found violating the law.”
Snr Asst Comm Charamba said the conveners of the demonstration would be held accountable for any disruptions, destruction of property and ensuing violence in the CBD.
“The ZRP is appealing to all those who intend to participate in the demonstration to observe peace and maintain law and order,” she said. “We are, therefore, urging the generality of the public to go about their business as usual. We urge the organisers of the demonstration to adhere to the conditions set out by the regulating authority as provided for by the law.”
It recently emerged that the planned protests had nothing to do with economic issues, but were meant to pressure President Mnangagwa and Zanu-PF to share power with Mr Chamisa and his party.
Mr Chamisa told London-based international news magazine, The Guardian Weekly, last week that the protests would call for a “transitional authority” to “move the country forward”.
Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet (Presidential Communications), who is also the Presidential spokesperson, Mr George Charamba, this week said the onus was on the opposition political outfit to ensure there was no injury to life or damage to property.
Mr Charamba said certain protected areas will be a no-go area for the opposition supporters.
Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Cain Mathema last week said Government had put in place security measures to deal with malcontents planning to disturb the peace prevailing in the country.