By Robert Tapfumaneyi
THE pariah image still haunting Zimbabwe in the West can easily be sanitised by making sure that the country’s Constitution is religiously obeyed and upheld, opposition MDC-T said.
Led by Thokozani Khupe, the party was commenting after Cabinet approved the Maintenance of Peace and Order Bill which seeks to repeal Public Order and Security Act (POSA) in line with the Constitution.
According to Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa, the development demonstrates government’s determination to pursue a reform agenda aimed at opening up the “democratic space” in the country.
“As MDC-T, we perceive this alignment of laws with the Constitution as a low-hanging fruit that doesn’t need lot of money and or foreign currency to harvest it,” said party spokesperson Linda Masarira in a statement Thursday.
“Sometimes we are our own worst enemies by failing to simply perform the little things that don’t cost money but that go a very long way in enhancing our country’s democratic credentials.
“Going forward, we expect the government to move swiftly to ensure that Zimbabweans’ fundamental rights and liberties are not only respected but that they are also enforced and upheld.”
Masarira however, insisted that citizens must enjoy their rights and liberties without trashing other people’s rights.
“For instance, Section 59 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe gives us the right to engage in peaceful demonstrations that shouldn’t degenerate into orgies of wanton violence and the vandalisation and looting of both public and private property,” she said.
“Put simply, no right is absolute. There are always limitations that are meant to ensure the maintenance of law and order.”
The MDC-T spokesperson went challenged law enforcement agents to maintain law and order in “a professional way”.
“On their part, security organs of the State should resist the temptation of over-reacting to violent demonstrations.
“There’s always need to employ reasonable force rather than resorting to excessive force when dealing with unruly and violent demonstrators.”