The government has denied reports that President Emmerson Mnangagwa ever threatened to track down lawyers and doctors who assisted the victims of military and police brutality during the January protests.
In a statement, Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Monica Mutsvangwa said:
We have noted with dismay the attempts to distort, render mischievous translation and deliberately twist His Excellency President Mnangagwa’s message at a Zanu-PF rally in Mwenezi on Saturday 16 February 2019. Clearly, the usual detractors are out to create what is patently fake news.
Media reports that the President threatened to track down lawyers who represented arrested rioters or doctors who treated the injured during the recent violent disturbances were not only misleading but were deliberately distorted to suit a well-known political narrative.
These NGO officials, be they doctors or lawyers, are liable for prosecution like anyone else who is alleged to have broken the law. Although NGOs have a cast iron legal right to freely operate in Zimbabwe, they are not above the law.
NGO officials who offended the law during the ill-fated disturbances will have their day in court like every other citizen.