Prominent Kenyan political analyst, Patrick Lumumba, said that African governments should not use security forces to deny the aspirations of their people, but rather, to protect them.
Speaking to NewZimbabwe.com in Victoria Falls at a recent SADC Lawyers Association, Lumumba warned governments against undermining people’s freedoms. He said:
The State exists for the people but sometimes we talk as if the state is separate from the population yet the population is a critical aspect of any nation.
It’s incumbent upon those who are serving in government to ensure that all organs of the State are there for the protection of people.
When it becomes necessary to deploy these forces, the force that is used must be commensurate to the threat that is in place or posed. We must not allow organs of the State to be used to undermine people’s freedom.
… Therefore, it is inexcusable to use excessive force to protect individual interests.
Lumumba made the remarks a few days before the government of Zimbabwe banned demonstrations that had been planned by the country’s main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
The MDC has lined up a series of demonstrations across the country’s major cities to put pressure on the government to urgently address the rapidly deteriorating economic situation.