By Kazembe Kazembe Home Affairs Minister
As the nation commemorates the 41st anniversary of independence, the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage assures Zimbabweans that their security and safety is guaranteed throughout the period and beyond.
Zimbabweans should therefore feel free to conduct all lawful activities in a peaceful manner and taking into consideration that the country like the rest of the world is grappling with the global COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 knows no boundary, creed, status or religion. In this regard, Zimbabweans should observe and comply with the Government of Zimbabwe’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
We can only fight this invisible enemy if we remain united as a people. May I reiterate His Excellency, President E.D Mnangagwa’s message that no gatherings will be allowed during this independence holiday.
The public should continue prioritizing the wearing of face masks, practicing social distancing and sanitization at all times. Social gatherings which include churches and funerals should strictly observe the stipulated maximum of 50 people.
My Ministry has implored the Commissioner General of Police to ensure that the Government’s COVID-19 regulations are complied with to the letter.
My Ministry is concerned by church and funeral gatherings which are openly exceeding the stipulated figure of 50.
Some church congregants and mourners are reportedly clashing with the police who are obviously coming in to disperse gatherings which in most cases are exceeding 1 000.
These are a conduit for COVID-19 superspreaders.
The law will take its course without fear or favour on such errant gatherings which expose the public to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the same vein, my Ministry has directed the Commissioner General of Police to take action on some political activists, individuals and civic organizations who are being fronted by MDC Alliance and have openly threatened to engage in a series of illegal demonstrations dubbed “The Winter Jest”.
The Police and other Security Services will be on high alert and ready to defend the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
May I warn all those who are planning and coordinating these illegal demonstrations that the law will take its course.
Local and Internationally based Organizations who are providing funding through individuals and the so-called Civic Organizations proxies are duly warned to stop fermenting disorder in the country and will be held accountable for any criminal acts perpetrated by groups who are obviously bidding for opposition political parties in the country.
The public is urged to ignore messages being circulated by the MDC Alliance not to celebrate and observe the country’s 41st Independence anniversary.
The Police is monitoring the venues where secret meetings are being held to mobilize for illegal demonstrations.
Meanwhile may I take this opportunity to warn drug cartels and individuals who are peddling drugs in communities that the Zimbabwe Republic Police is coming after you.
I am aware that there are syndicates involving local and foreigners who are using the country’s points of entry and exit to engage in drug trafficking.
The syndicates will be dealt with once and for all by law enforcement officers. In the same vein, criminals engaged in unlawful entry and theft cases as captured in some videos seen on social media will be brought to book.
I am pleased that some of the suspects involved in the Damofalls and Ruwa cases have been arrested and property recovered.
On the other note, there has been statements to suggest that uniformed forces, in particular the army and the police, are involved in robberies.
This is not a fact in any language. It is not only wrong, but mischievous and premature to assume that uniformed forces are involved in these robberies.
We need to be on the lookout for some criminals who could be masquerading as uniformed forces. We kindly urge the public to report any suspicious activities in that regard and as much as possible, provide evidence.
Whenever there is a case of robbery, let us allow the police to do their investigations before making conclusions.
Anyone found on the wrong side of the law will be prosecuted regardless of their status in the society.
Zimbabwe is a peace-loving country and our uniformed forces are doing a great job in maintaining that.
The country’s independence makes meaning if there is law and order which is underpinned by Police visibility and cooperation from the public.
My Ministry applauds the public for continuously working together with the Police to tackle the malady of crime in the country.
Finally, the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage wishes all Zimbabweans a crime and accident free 41st Independence anniversary. Let’s stay safe and remember that COVID-19 requires us to act responsibly and above all observe and comply with the Government of Zimbabwe’s safety and security regulations.