By Bulawayo Correspondent
Ex-ZIPRA liberation war fighters have implored the Zimbabwean military and other security agents to refrain from harassing citizens during enforcement of Covid-19 prevention measures.
This follows the announcement of fresh lockdown measures by Health Minister and Vice President Constantino Chiwenga Saturday.
Addressing journalists in Harare Sunday, acting president Kembo Mohadi said state security agents will enforce the new strict Covid-19 regulations imposed Saturday following the continued surge in local cases.
During previous lockdown regimes, soldiers and police officers have been accused of violating citizens’ rights.
Speaking to NewZimbabwe.com ahead of the commencement of the new lockdown regime this Tuesday, ZIPRA Veterans Association deputy secretary general Job Ndlovu called on government to exercise restraint when dealing with the masses.
“We are appealing to government through Defence Minister Oppah Muchinguri and Commander Defence Forces Philip Valerio Sibanda to make sure that citizens are not harassed by the security forces.
“The security sector is there to protect the citizens of this country. They are not there to abuse and threaten people,” he said.
Ndlovu questioned the logic behind the deployment of armed soldiers while enforcing Covid-19 regulations.
“People are afraid to see heavily armed soldiers wielding AKs in the streets,” he said.
“People should be more afraid of Covid-19 than soldiers who are peacekeepers.
“Zimbabwe is a democratic country where people should not be afraid of their army,” said the ZIPRA Veterans Association deputy secretary.
The ZIPRA veterans also slammed government for introducing the lockdown without providing social protection for the masses.
“We applaud the government for introducing the lockdown measures to curb the spreading of Covid-19, but we are very concerned that the government has not announced anything on the issue of social welfare on those people whose income is going to be affected by the lockdown.
“It was better if the government was going to provide food hampers to the people like what is happening in other countries.
“People are coming from the holiday and they do not have any money,” he said.