By Tendai Matunhu
The National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) has called for the MDC to demonstrate peacefully since it has a history of organising violent demonstrations.
In a press statement released over the weekend on the proposed demonstrations, the NPRC noted with concern that people with disabilities, women, children and the elderly normally suffer after they have been caught up in the violent web.
“The National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) has taken note of the call by the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) for public demonstrations in Harare to protest ‘for a resolution of the current challenges facing the people of Zimbabwe’.
“The NPRC recognises the Constitutional right of persons and institutions to demonstrate and present petitions as long as these rights are exercised peacefully. To this end the commission calls upon the leadership of MDC to implore their members to exercise restraint and to put in place strategies and plans to ensure that the demonstrations do not denigrate into violent conflict,” reads part of the statement.
The NPRC highlighted that it is concerned where protests have previously become confrontational as people with disabilities, women, children and the elderly have been caught up in the violent web with neither means nor ways to protect themselves.
“Some have had their assistive devices forcefully taken away from them, leaving them badly exposed to the violence. All parties are therefore urged to take particular care to protect this key population from injury or harm.”
The Commission revealed that it had begun engagement with relevant stakeholders to ensure that the demonstrations are carried out constitutionally and peacefully.
At the recently held Defence Forces Commemorations, President Emmerson Mnangagwa called upon the nation to unite and maintain peace in the country.
“Let me appeal to all Zimbabweans to cherish the peace that our country enjoys today. We should be vigilant and reject those amongst us who wish to perpetuate the suffering of the masses through violence disunity divisions and unrest,” he said.
NPRC’s statement has been welcomed by citizens who have commended it for encouraging peace and for showing its independence through what they called an unbiased message.