SOME foreign elements are plotting violent demonstrations in a bid to overthrow the Government and the police are ready to deal with the perpetrators in terms of the law, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Cain Mathema has said.
Addressing a Press conference in Harare yesterday, Minister Mathema said intelligence revealed a workshop to mobilise and capacitate the civic organisations had already been scheduled for an undisclosed date next month in Bulawayo.
“It is disturbing to note that ZRP and other security services have gathered intelligence to the effect that a group of foreign nationals wants to facilitate a three-day civic organisation workshop in Bulawayo in May 2019.
“The main agenda of the workshop is to mobilise and capacitate civic organisations and individuals to stage purported effective demonstrations and disturbances to overthrow the Zanu-PF Government,” he said.
Minister Mathema warned the people of Zimbabwe against joining the planned violent demonstrations.
The minister said the police were on high alert and measures have already been put in place to thwart the illegal plans.
“My ministry has since directed the Commissioner- General of Police to put in place adequate security measures. The police will thwart any civil disobedience or violent machinations by individuals, political parties and civic organisations under the guise of freedom of assembly and other hidden activities,” he said.
Government has urged people to ignore any demonstration calls.
“Members of the public are accordingly advised to ignore any incitement to violence or participating in unsanctioned gatherings that may cause instability in the country. Any acts of lawlessness should be reported to the nearest police station so that the law is applied without fear or favour,” said Minister Mathema.
Zimbabwe, the minister said, does not need any lecture on democracy and freedom of assembly from foreign non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
Minister Mathema said intelligence also show that there were plans to intensify the demonstrations after the MDC-Alliance’s congress.
“My ministry is also aware that there are plans to intensify violent demonstrations in the country after the forthcoming MDC-Alliance congress under the guise that there is economic collapse in Zimbabwe.”
Minister Mathema assured Zimbabweans and foreigners visiting the country or those doing business that their security was guaranteed.
“We have the names of the organisations and the names of the people who want to organise the demonstrations. At an opportune time, we will share their names,” he said.
Price increases and other economic challenges facing the country, Minister Mathema said, were being caused by the MDC-Alliance.
“It must be known that those economic challenges facing the country were brought about by the MDC. The sanctions were brought about by the MDC-Alliance, so it is laughable that we should be accused, as Government, of causing the economic challenges.
“We do not want price increases at all and the Government will do all it can to ensure prices stabilise,” he said.