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Tsvangirai orders Zim Army To Stop Harassing Villagers

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Harare, December 10, 2010 - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai have urged Zimbabweans to protest against any violation of their human rights and called on soldiers and police members deployed in rural areas to pull out and stop harassing the people.

Speaking at the Africa Unity Square in central Harare to commemorate, International Human Rights day Tsvangirai said: "We are seeing that in rural areas people are deploying soldiers and the police to harass people. That should not be accepted."

"The army is not there to abuse people, the army is there to protect people. The police are there to protect the people and not to harass people and so are the CIO's. Our vision for Zimbabwe is to restore human dignity."

"If electricity goes up, people should protest, if maize go up people should protest. It must be known that what we don't want we must protest," Tsvangirai said.

"Workers should demand their rights, women should demand their rights, children should demand their rights, students should also demand their rights on a daily basis. Government must be accountable to the people and not that the people must be accountable to the government."

Tsvangirai said the government of national unity must learn to be accountable to its people and not vice versa.

"Gone are the days when the government was not accountable to its people it is now history."

The Prime Minister urged Zimbabweans to be "calm and collected" as it gears towards elections scheduled for next year.

He said he was happy that the economy was slowly improving but that a few things still needed to be sorted out by the GNU so that "everyone is happy in a liberated Zimbabwe".

"Independence came but this does not mean that it ends there," he said.

Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara told the same gathering: "The mandate of this inclusive government is to create conditions for free and fair elections. If we rush to an election, we go back to June 27, (2008)."

In 2008, almost 200 people believed to be supporters of the MDC lost their lives due to violence.

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