Peter Matika, Senior Reporter
THE ban on public gatherings still stands and police have issued a stern warning against an intended countrywide demonstration organised by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, set for Thursday.
Police said the ban was in line with the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing’s directive to ban public gatherings in central business districts and other public areas in an effort to prevent the spread of cholera.
“Therefore, the organizers of the intended demonstrations by ZCTU and its affiliates should take note of the Government’s directive particularly the movement of large numbers of people from one point to another, which includes cholera epicenters.
“The ongoing operation by local authorities and other stakeholders has indicated that cholera outbreak is not yet over particularly in Harare,” read a statement issued by the police on Tuesday.
The statement went on to further warn members of the public that if at all anything turned nasty the organizers of the demonstration would be held accountable.
“The ZRP urges members of the public to continue observing peace and allow the security services and other stakeholders to ensure that there is security and order as relevant authorities step up efforts to end cholera outbreaks,” read the statement.
ZCTU had planned on holding a nationwide demonstration this Thursday, citing grievances with the recently announced monetary policy, among a list of other complaints.
ZCTU general council member Mr Kamurai Moyo said the demo was to be held across the country.
“We are protesting against the proposal that was announced by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development Mr Mthuli Ncube. We will also be protesting against illegal price hikes. As it is we are receiving communication form our branch that a 2 litre unit of cooking oil is going for $15,” said Mr Moyo.
He said the demonstration would incorporate the issue of the removal of illegal vendors from the streets.
“We are saying we want a clean environment but the removal of vendors is not the key. Government should have put in place mechanisms first to ensure that they protect the livelihood of the general folk instead of just displacing them. Vending was the only source of their livelihood. Yes we are saying no to the spread of cholera, it is a poor man’s disease but measures should be put in place to prevent it,” said Mr Moyo.