ZIMCET urges stakeholders to respect and protect the Constitution of Zimbabwe, ahead of 16 August 2019 demonstration

Zimbabwe Civic Education Trust (ZIMCET) notes the desire and plans by the MDC-Alliance to embark on a demonstration on the 16th of August 2019. We recognize this right as enshrined in our supreme law and implore upon authorities to allow for its exercise. In the same vein, we call upon the MDC-Alliance to ensure that the rights of citizens not willing to participate in the demonstration are respected.

We positively note that the planned demonstration follows a notification to the Zimbabwe Republic Police as prescribed under the Public Order and Security Act (POSA).

ZIMCET implores and expects the Government of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Republic Police, the conveners and all interested stakeholders and citizens to strictly adhere to the provisions of the Constitution of Zimbabwe in order to ensure a sustainable peace, stability and enjoyment of rights by all citizens. We reiterate that political efforts must be urgently redoubled toward the fulfillment of the following chapters and sections of the Constitution of Zimbabwe: Chapter (4) Declaration of Rights Part (2), Section (59) Freedom to demonstrate and petition “ Every person has the right to demonstrate and to present petitions, but these rights must be exercised peacefully.”

We urge the security sector and other actors to ensure the enjoyment of Section (67) Political rights (2) Subject to this Constitution, every Zimbabwean citizen has the right— (a) to form, join and participate in the activities of a political party or organization of their choice; (c) to participate in peaceful political activity; and (d) to participate, individually or collectively, in gatherings or groups or in any other manner, in peaceful activities to influence, challenge or support the policies of the Government or any political or whatever cause.

ZIMCET implores the security services, particularly the Zimbabwe Republic Police to abide by the provisions of the Constitution of Zimbabwe CHAPTER 11 part 3 Section 219 Police Service and its functions (1) There is a Police Service which is responsible for— (a) detecting, investigating and preventing crime; (b) preserving the internal security of Zimbabwe; (c) protecting and securing the lives and property of the people; (d) maintaining law and order; and (e) upholding this Constitution and enforcing the law without fear or favor.

ZIMCET expresses concern over statements to counter the planned MDC-A demonstration attributed to Zanu PF and urges party leaders and supporters to exercise restraint as failure to suppress tensions can ignite larger flames with unintended consequences. ZIMCET therefore calls upon the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) and the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) to constantly monitor the situation and provide unbiased advice to the parties.

ZIMCET calls on citizens to strictly adhere to the law and further urges all political party leaders, the church, business and civics to quickly work towards steering the country away from political, economic and social instability and towards security, greater prosperity and genuine democratic governance.

Source: Zimbabwe Civic Education Trust (ZIMCET)