Foreign Affairs Minister, Retired General Sibusiso Moyo, has said that the government always desires that police use commensurate force or response to demonstrations.
The remarks by Minister Moyo surfaced when he was responding to questions from journalists after the 30th Cabinet Decision Matrix held in the capital yesterday.
“To try and bring the issue of police reaction is to miss the point, the police is an independent organ of the state. which made its own assessment and they issued a statement afterwards. They made a legal position which was challenged and was not successful. thereafter they (the opposition) processed with an illegal demonstration in terms of the law,
“So whether police use excessive force or not, we will always as government desire that police use commensurate force or response to the demonstration,” said Minister Moyo.
Minister Moyo defended the use of tear smoke saying the demonstrators had proved the police.
“When protesters wanted to enter MunhuMutapa building here what could the police have done except to throw smoke? We must be clear about the circumstances and about the situation which has been developing on the ground,” he said.
Free Zimbabwe Campaign
The country’s main opposition planned countrywide demonstrations against the Mnangagwa led administration. The MDC accuses Mnangagwa’s government of repression and mismanagement. However, the protests have been met with massive resistance from the Police.
Diplomatic Missions castigate Human Rights Abuses
The Heads of Mission of the Delegation of the European Union, France, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Romania, Sweden and the United Kingdom and the Heads of Mission of Australia, Canada and the United States of America castigated President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s heavy-handedness on opposition and civil society members as police continue to use maximum force on protestors.
Intimidation, harassment and physical attacks on human rights defenders, trade union and civil society representatives, and opposition politicians – Prior to, during and following the demonstration in Harare on 16 August – are cause for great concern.
The Zimbabwean Constitution guarantees the right to personal security from violence and prohibits physical or psychological torture. The Heads of Mission urge the authorities to respect these fundamental rights, and to hold perpetrators of violence legally responsible.
The Heads of Mission call on the authorities to respect the constitutional rights to freedom of assembly, association and expression as well as to peaceful protest, and urge all political party leaders and supporters to abstain from threats and incitement to violence as well as acts of violence or vandalism. The security forces must adhere to their Constitutional mandate and exercise restraint and proportionality while maintaining public order.
Only by addressing concretely and rapidly these human rights violations will the Government of Zimbabwe give credibility to its commitments to address longstanding governance challenges. The Heads of Mission reiterate their calls for the implementation of the government’s political and economic reform agenda, underpinned by inclusive national dialogue and increased efforts to address the severe social situation.
Government of Zimbabwe Hits back at Diplomatic Mission’s statement
The Secretary for the Ministry of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services, Mr Nick Mangagwa said the criticism by the western countries was unfair.
We, therefore, note with concern that the missions’ statement appears not to acknowledge this position of the law.
“A disturbing suggestion is that our courts should not have made the judgement and that illegalities were supposed to manifest and left unchecked.
“We find it quite strange and bewildering and an offense on the principle that countries represented by the missions wants so much to preach about,” noted Mangwana.
“It is disappointing that we are presented with a statement that ignores the importance of upholding both the constitution of Zimbabwe and the rule of law,” he added.