The Sunday News
JUDGES who sanction political demonstrations in the face of strong evidence that the protests will generate into violence are negligent and reckless, President Mugabe has said.
Speaking on opposition-led violence that occurred in Harare on 26 August 2016 after the High Court allowed the demonstrators to take to the streets, the President said the judiciary should have treaded carefully following disturbances witnessed two days earlier.
He was addressing the Zanu-PF Youth League National Assembly at the ruling party’s headquarters in Harare yesterday.
Present at the meeting were Vice-Presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko, and Zanu-PF Politburo members Cdes Ignatius Chombo, Saviour Kasukuwere and Patrick Zhuwao.
President Mugabe said: “We are happy that you managed to control yourselves in the face of real provocation by the so-called protesters who had gone about burning property, and looting, and engaging in acts of violence. But, of course, we can’t allow that to continue, (to have) these violent demonstrations unimpeded. No. Enough is enough. I would want to say we all have, all the people of Zimbabwe have, the duty and obligation to ensure that there is peace. It is not just we the ordinary people who should have the understanding (of the need for peace). Our courts, our justice system, our judges should be the ones who understand even better than the ordinary citizens.
“They dare not be negligent in their decisions when requests are made by people who want to demonstrate, to hold these demonstrations. In light of the violence that we had earlier on, surely they should have taken note to the fact that when permission was given four days ago, there was violence; when it was given two days ago, there was violence.
“To give permission again when they (judges) are to the full knowledge that it is going to be violent or (there is a) probability that there is going to be violence is to pay reckless disregard to the peace of this country. We hope now they have learnt a lesson, ivo ma-judges.”
President Mugabe said Zimbabwe’s detractors were using money to destabilise Government, adding that opposition parties calling for early elections could go hang.
“They say let’s have elections now; ko 2018 yadii? Even if you have them now, can you win? They say they want a Government of National Unity which we left. They want us to go back again and want elections. That can not be. We also know that the regime change agenda is a broader agenda that they are pursuing. Our enemies are using money and opposition parties to invoke internal opposition forces.”
On social media abuse, President Mugabe said, “We all have a role to play in promoting brand Zimbabwe, the image of Zimbabwe, a Zimbabwe that is democratic, hardworking and peaceful.
“Branding, that is the image, that image of Zimbabwe which we should promote and also defend from its detractors. Our youths should learn from youths in China, Cuba and Russia that economic success stories have resulted from proper and constructive use of ICTs.
“Social media should never be used negatively. You have quarrelled with someone (and) you want to take it up on the Internet. Tsvina idzodzo dzatinonzwa . . . get out of it.”
We should not be part of it. We should remain clean, clean, clean. I am happy that the Ministry of ICT, Postal and Courier Services is crafting a law to guide the proper use of social media.”
President Mugabe had returned home in the morning from a visit to the United Arab Emirates, laughing off speculation on his health and rumours about “his death”.
The President who was in high spirits touched down at Harare International Airport just before 8am and fielded questions from journalists following claims by some media houses and opposition political functionaries that he was dead.
President Mugabe drew laughter when he said, “Yes, I was dead. It’s true, I was dead. I resurrected like I always do. Once I get back to my country, I am real.”
President Mugabe said he had gone to Dubai to check on his son, Robert Jr, who is studying there.
Last week, the private media wildly speculated that President Mugabe had collapsed and had been rushed to Singapore, with some people even claiming — without providing a shred of proof — that the Head of State and Government had passed away.
Back in 2010, faced with similar unsubstantiated claims from the same quarters, President Mugabe said: “I don’t know how many times I die but nobody has ever talked about my resurrection. I suppose they don’t want to, because it would mean they would mention my resurrection several times and that would be quite divine, an achievement for an individual who is not divine. Jesus died once, and resurrected only once, and poor Mugabe several times.”
Meanwhile, the President has appointed Cde Kudzanayi Chipanga as Zanu-PF National Secretary for Youth Affairs, saying he is impressed by his work in the party.
Cde Chipanga replaces Pupurai Togarepi whom he deputised and then replaced in an acting capacity after a no confidence vote was passed on him early this year. President Mugabe announced the elevation at the Zanu-PF Youth League National Assembly in Harare yesterday.
“I want to say to Chipanga, ‘Come and let me shake your hand for being able to organise this gathering and leading the youth. Come, let me shake you.’
“Now I am not just shaking his hand, but informing him that as from now on, you are not acting, but Cde Kudzanayi Chipanga is now Secretary for Youth Affairs,” said the President to wild cheers from the youths.
President Mugabe said Zanu-PF will address issues affecting young people.
“We are going ahead to meet the needs of our people in general and in particular those of our youth, who constitute majority of the population. We are also aware that the youths need farming land. Responsible ministries are working tirelessly to ensure that land for agriculture is made available to them. I would like to implore you, as the youth leaders, to ensure that once the land is allocated, it is properly and fully utilised in order to ensure massive production.
“In the mining sector, I am aware that the youth are trying to make ends meet through small-scale mining. We support your initiatives in this sector, but do not encourage illegal activities. The youths should work well with the Ministry of Mines, avoiding being caught on the wrong side of the law. All gold mined should be sold to Fidelity, not on the black market. The land from which we extract resources needs to be protected for future generations.”