Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
Government has called on Zimbabweans to shun violence and refuse to be used by negative elements that want to destabilise the country.
This was said by Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa while presenting the 29th Cabinet Decision Matrix yesterday ahead of demonstrations planned by the opposition MDC-Alliance from tomorrow.
The MDC-Alliance and its civil society allies have instigated two violent protests since the July 30 2018 elections that have resulted in the deaths of several people and destruction of property running into millions of dollars.
“In the light of planned demonstrations by the opposition MDC-Alliance, Cabinet implores all Zimbabweans to completely reject the culture of violence and intimidation which is counter-productive and inimical to the full enjoyment of freedom by peace-loving Zimbabweans, as enshrined in the country’s Constitution,” Minister Mutsvangwa said.
“Government calls on all progressive Zimbabweans to desist from being used by negative forces to destabilise their own country, as this will only prolong the hardships which Government is tirelessly working to address in a more sustainable manner. As Zimbabweans, let us shun the culture of violence which brings about the loss of livelihoods, and undermines our peace and unity.”
She said it was imperative that Zimbabweans engage in dialogue to resolve any differences they might have.
“I wish to reiterate the call by His Excellency the President Cde E. D. Mnangagwa for all patriotic Zimbabweans to resort to dialogue and other constructive forms of engagement as means for resolving the challenges we face as a nation.
“Government will, nonetheless, ensure that law and order prevails in the country,” she added.
Minister Mutsvangwa added that Government acknowledged that Zimbabweans had a constitutional right to protest, adding that this had to be done in terms of the law.
“There is a Constitution in this country, we have the supreme law which allows people to demonstrate peacefully and there are certain procedures which are followed, and I am sure once those procedures are followed Government upholds the Constitution,” she added.
Meanwhile, Government has released $20 million to assist business operators whose property was damaged during the violent January protests.
“Cabinet was informed by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development that the remaining $20 million from the fund set up to rehabilitate and restock businesses affected by the 14 to 16 January 2019 violent protests was disbursed the previous week.
“This should assist the affected businesses and communities to re-establish themselves, create employment and provide valuable services to our citizens,” she said.
In May, Government released $10 million for the restocking of business that were affected.
Yesterday, Industry and Commerce Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu said the funds were mainly to restore people’s livelihoods.
“Most of the people that were affected by the January violence were retailers, so this money is mainly to do with restoring livelihoods. A total of $30 million had been put in place by Government for that cause,” he said.
He also reiterated the need for Zimbabweans to uphold peace at all times.