Zim foreign minister defends crackdown on anti-government protesters
Sibusiso Moyo, Zimbabwe’s minister of foreign affairs and international trade, has defended his government’s crackdown on anti-government demonstrations saying that while everybody had the right to demonstrate public safety issues had to be taken into consideration.
Talking to the Voice of America (VoA) on Monday, Moyo asserted that there were a lot of false insinuations being made as well as campaigns calling for violence, saying he endorsed a court ruling hours earlier upholding a police ban on a protest organized by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) alliance to be held on Monday.
Police had also pre-emptively banned a demonstration in Harare last Friday, a decision upheld by the court. However, hundreds of MDC supporters ignored the ban leading to clashes between protesters and security forces.
The UN and several other rights groups condemned what they said was the excessive force used by the security forces after video emerged showing the police beating protesters already on the ground.
The MDC is pushing President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the ruling Zanu-PF for the opposition to play a role in a transitional government and have planned two further demonstrations this week, one in Gweru on Tuesday and one in Masvingo on Wednesday.