Acting President Phelekezela Mphoko and Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa have condemned violence and looting that occurred in Harare last week and called on protesters to respect other people’s rights and property.
Speaking in separate interviews, the two leaders said the protests demonstrate political immaturity and abuse of the constitution which provides for peaceful demonstrations.
“What happened in Harare was not a political demonstration but a group of thugs who wanted to loot people’s shops and a shameless ploy to impoverish informal traders whose wares were also looted,” Mphoko said while in Bulawayo.
He added that Zimbabwe is a democratic nation that allows people to express themselves in a peaceful manner but will not allow the same political parties to impoverish people who are fending for their families as well as the destruction of public property.
Speaking to the ZBC News on the sidelines of a Methodist Church district convention for women in Gweru where he had gone to witness his wife, Auxillia Mnangagwa receive confirmation into the church’s Ruwadzano group, Vice President Mnangagwa said although the new constitution allows people to demonstrate, the same constitution does not allow people to trample on other people’s rights.
“Protestors must refrain from violence, looting and destruction of property. Zimbabweans should not be associated with demonstrations and violence,” he said.
He said the country can only move forward if people learn to listen and respect each other’s divergent views.
Many people have condemned the recent violence, looting and destruction of property in Harare by MDC-T members working in cahoots with other opposition parties.
The protests left a trail of destruction in Harare and a police and ZBC vehicles were burnt, while Choppies Supermarket was one of the shops looted.
The two leaders called on all Zimbabweans to respect property and life and not to allow themselves to be used by political elements who prey on people’s emotions.