Chief police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga invoked the Public Order and Security Act by requesting the Zimbabwe Defence Forces to assist police to maintain law and order.
This follows protests by MDC Alliance supporters over the delay of Presidential election results which resulted in the death of three people after soldiers opened fire. Said Charamba:
We are urging members of the public to refrain from committing acts of violence. We want to inform the nation that the Commissioner General of Police has invoked the provisions of Section 37 (1) of the Public Order and Security Act Chapter 11.17 and approached the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage to request for the assistance of the Defence Forces for the suppression of the commotion and disturbances in Harare Central Business District. The ZDF, however, remain under the command and supervision of the Commissioner General of Police. This development has been necessitated by the fact that the degree of disturbances of law and order have reached a magnitude where our regular police officers, as well as our reserve members, have been unable to cope with this situation. We are urging members of the public to remain calm, refrain from violence and also respect the rule of law in the country. We will update you as the events unfold but we want to warn in no uncertain terms that those who are instigating violence should stop.