The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) has castigated the violence that accompanied last week’s nationwide protests. In a statement last week, ZHRC said:
Experience has taught us that criminal and rogue elements of society will always take advantage of public demonstrations and protests and proceed to loot, destroy property and even cause bodily harm to innocent bystanders.
The Commission, therefore, does not condone the violence that has characterised previous and current demonstrations. Organisers of demonstrations must, therefore, take full responsibility for their decisions and actions so that the enjoyment of their rights is not in violation of the rights of others.
Equally worrying is the abuse of social media platforms by demonstrators and other faceless characters to threaten and intimidate people as well as distort facts to achieve their ulterior motives, in the process causing alarm and despondency amongst the citizens.
The violence led to the death of 12 civilians and a police officer. Hundreds more were injured and property worth millions of dollars was destroyed.