President Emmerson Mnangagwa said that the government regrets the loss of life when the military and other security agencies use disproportionate force against demonstrators during the recent protests.
He, however, said there was no other alternative response to the riots. He revealed this on Wednesday night while addressing journalists at State House. Mnangagwa had this to say:
We have been accused of using disproportionate force, but these protesters were burning down police stations and various infrastructure, including toll-gates along our highways.
I am not sure how we were supposed to respond to that. Western countries, in particular, have raised concerns. Of course, we regret the loss of life, but we needed to protect property
as well as other citizens not involved in the protests. We have told the Western countries that they cannot turn around and raise concerns when they are the ones sponsoring the violence.
More than 12 people were killed, hundreds injured and more than a thousand injured when security forces armed with assault rifles, water cannons and tear gas poured into high-density suburbs in response to nationwide protests. The protests started on January 14 after Mnangagwa announced that fuel price would increase by over 150 per cent.