The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) says it is not against the holding of demonstrations per se but the constitution states that the enjoyment of rights should not infringe on the rights of others.
This was said by police deputy Commissioner General Stephen Matamba who was addressing peacekeeping police officers during a briefing and debriefing ceremony for South Sudan and Darfur contingents under the United Nations (UN) Peacekeeping Mission in Darfur. He said:
As a law enforcing agent, the ZRP is not against people holding peaceful demonstrations as may be peddled or portrayed by some in our society.
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For the avoidance of doubt, the ZRP is fully mindful and desirous to the importance of upholding the rights of citizens as enshrined in the Constitution.
But we are also not blind to the apparent fact that such rights are not absolute. The supreme law of the land clearly states that the enjoyment of rights should not be done by infringing the rights of others.
The remarks follow the ZRP’s decision to ban all demonstrations that had been planned by the opposition MDC across the country last month.
The few hundred protestors who took to the streets of Harare were quickly dispersed by baton-wielding police officers with some left nursing bruises.