Government last night expresssed concern at the subversive messages circulating on social media inciting people to disturb the prevailing peace and stability by engaging in illegal activities such as looting, burning down property and assaulting people going to work.
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services said while Government reaffirms the Constitutional right of citizens to demonstrate or petition peacefully as well as to have the freedom of conscience, that right does not extend to forcing others to partake in activities against their wishes as well as disrupting them from going about their business.
“Government has an obligation to protect all citizens including those who wish to carry on their daily activities undisturbed. We therefore wish to assure the public that the security services will be ready to fulfil their constitutional mandate to maintain law and order as well as protect lives and property, from insurgent behaviour,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
She said Zimbabwe is known for its peacefulness and Government is encouraging all citizens to maintain that peace as they fend for their families.
The messages inciting people to engage in violent behaviour come immediately after MDC Alliance leader Mr Nelson Chamisa called on his party supporters to effect illegal regime change.
Minister Mutsvangwa said Government understands and emphathises with the hardships people are experiencing. She said safety nets are being put in place to protect the vulnerable from the pain “of the necessary reform we have to undergo”.
“The President and the Government are fully aware of the many challenges facing our economy. They arise from decades of gross mismanagement.
“We are going through the overhaul of our economy so it can finally deliver the goods and jobs we all desire. The ongoing pains are a passing phase.
“The Government warns any bad apples in our business community to desist from cruel price hikes. It is immoral to create shortages and gauge prices in order to create discontent among the populace,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
She said those who engage in industrial subversive activities will have themselves to blame when authorities react.
Minister Mutsvangwa said Zimbabwe does not believe riotous behaviour and wanton destruction of property will change people’s lives for the better, but that “a resilient determination to push through economic reforms is a necessary remedy to our economy and will see us achieve our national goal of being an Upper Middle Income Economy by 2030.”
Police have said they are ready to deal with anyone who engages in any form of violence following social media reports by some rogue elements calling for a so-called national shutdown.
They are threatening to punish people conducting their business or going to work, burn vehicles, destroy shops and stopping children from going to school, among other illegal activities.
The ZRP which is now on high alert to thwart any disturbances countrywide has since started conducting investigations on the source of this alarming message.
In a statement yesterday, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi warned anyone who engages in any form of violence that they will be arrested and face the full wrath of the law.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police is urging members of the public to disregard a social media post which is calling for the public to engage in acts of violence by burning vehicles, destroying shops, stopping children from going to school and agitating for bloodshed on 30/05/19.