Source: Govt commends public | The Herald July 8, 2016
Government yesterday commended the public for showing political maturity and refusing to be used by malcontents angling for civil unrest in the country.
Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Dr Christopher Mushohwe said the net was closing in on the few elements behind inflammatory messages on social media.
He urged operators in the communication industry not to allow their platforms to be used for unethical and subversive activities.
This comes as Zimbabweans, who had stayed indoors on Wednesday in fear of violence — continued with their businesses without any hindrances yesterday.
They shunned further calls by opposition political parties and shadowy groups to remain indoors.
Police said the situation was clam and would continue monitoring it to ensure public safety.
“Government wishes to commend fellow Zimbabweans for showing political maturity and tolerance in the face of extreme provocation by a few elements bent on undermining and disturbing the peace and tranquillity which we enjoy in our country.
“There have been persistent efforts by those misguided malcontents in the past few days to mislead people into taking to the streets and perpetrating malicious destruction of property as well as challenging figures of authority,” said Dr Mushohwe.
He said there was no justification for anyone to resort to violence to resolve challenges being addressed by Government.
“The isolated disturbances in Beitbridge and a few suburbs of Harare and Bulawayo must be condemned unreservedly and in the strongest of terms,” he said.
“The authors of this lawlessness must reconsider their behaviour and appreciate the full consequences of their actions as Government will not tolerate any breakdown in law and order.
“Perpetrators of violence and those bent on disturbing our peace will be hunted down to face the full wrath of the law. The net is closing in on those ghosts who have been behind inflammatory messages on social media. Government will never countenance a situation where instruments and platforms of communication are misused to cause mayhem and lawlessness in our society.”
Dr Mushohwe encouraged law-abiding citizens to ignore such destructive messages.
“Zimbabweans must be warned that the social media has become an instrument for destroying peaceful and stable nations as amply exemplified on our continent and elsewhere. Government encourages operators in the communication industry not to allow their platforms and businesses to be used for unethical and subversive activities. Should such abuse persist, Government will be left with no alternative but to take sterner and corrective actions.”
Police chief spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said police remained on high alert.
“The situation is normal and our officers will remain on high alert carrying out patrols,” she said.
“In Bulawayo five shops were vandalised and looted on Wednesday night. Investigations are on-going and arrests will be made.”
Snr Asst Comm Charamba reiterated that anyone who would be intimidated or noticed suspicious movements in their areas should report to any nearest police station or contact Harare Operations on (04) 748836 or the National Complaints Desk on (04) 703631.
In Masvingo, normal activities returned with civil servants leading the way to resume official duties at schools, hospitals and other Government departments.
There was a hive of activity at banks, supermarkets and other businesses.
Schoolchildren at almost all the schools within and outside Masvingo city resumed normal lessons as teachers reported for duty while at Masvingo General Hospital nurses and doctors were also at work.
Commuter omnibus and taxi operators were back on the roads with a reduced police presence on their routes.
In Bulawayo police thwarted unruly youths’ intentions to torch a Choppies supermarket.
Police said the hooligans had been identified and would be arrested.
Some of the people who might find themselves in trouble include Pastor Evan Mawawire of #This Flag campaign, Promise Mkwananzi of the shadowy Tajamuka/Sesijikile outfit and Sten Zvorwadza of the National Vendors’ Union of Zimbabwe, who have been on a crusade to foment an uprising against the Government.
Their strategy is anchored on a social media misinformation campaign where they sought to inflame emotions by peddling falsehoods on platforms such as WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook.
On Wednesday, police arrested 36 people for staging illegal demonstrations in various parts of the country, including 14 white Zimbabweans and a Belgian national who were nabbed in Victoria Falls.
The protests also coincided with United States Ambassador Harry Thomas (Jnr’s) unwarranted remarks inciting Zimbabweans to stage what he termed peaceful demonstrations.