ZANU PF MP for Chirumhanzu-Zibagwe Prosper Machando has warned youths that they risk being beaten up if they dared protest against government. Machando said this last Thursday in Harare while addressing a National Association of Youth Organisations (Nayo) indaba.
“Adding a voice to national issues is not bad, but very good so that we are heard, but the way we do it is questionable,” Machando said.
“If the government says demonstrations are not allowed, they are not allowed and if you demonstrate, you will be beaten up and arrested. I cannot lie to you that for you to be heard, you have to demonstrate. We cannot lie to you so you praise us here when we all know if you get onto the streets, you will be beaten up.”
Vungu MP Omega Sibanda (Zanu PF) said journalists who chose to behave like activists would “face the wrath of the law”. He said this in reference to the continued harassment of journalists by State security agents.
“Some of these scribes have become activists. If you want to be a scribe, be a scribe. Once you want to join the two and become an activist, you will face the wrath of the law,” Sibanda said.
Seasoned journalist Hopewell Chin’ono has been in and out of remand prison on charges of inciting public violence.
Chin’ono is accused of breaching his bail conditions by tweeting about the court outcome of businesswoman Henrietta Rushwaya’s gold smuggling scandal. He had been ordered not to post on Twitter.
This followed his earlier arrest in July this year ahead of the foiled anti-government protests of July 31. The statements by the two MPs were made despite the fact that country’s Constitution stipulates freedom of assembly, the right to demonstrate peacefully, as well as media freedom. — newzimbabwe.com