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Police urge citizens to go about their business as usual

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Police urge citizens to go about their business as usual


POLICE will be out in full force across the country to deal with criminal elements who may want to disturb peace, following reports of a planned illegal shutdown by some political and civic groups today.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said law enforcement agents will be on the ground nationwide to maintain peace and tranquillity.

He encouraged Zimbabweans to report for work and continue with their usual business without fear.

“Law and order and maintenance of peace is of paramount importance. As police we encourage people to go to work.

“The police will take action against those who would want to disturb the smooth flow of traffic. We have adequately deployed our members to make sure that normal activities will go on smoothly as scheduled tomorrow (today),” Asst Comm Nyathi said.

Some political and civic groups have called for a nationwide stayaway under the banner #ShutDownZimbabwe through various social media platforms.

However, the business community has rejected the call.

In a statement yesterday, the president of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR), Mr Denford Mutashu, urged businesses to carry out their normal activities and distanced their organisation from the protests.

“CZR is working closely with the country’s security apparatus and it will be business as usual,” he said.

“Business, however, distances itself from the so-called stayaway which in the past has been disruptive, retrogressive and led to the destruction to property and adversely affected business operations. It has also turned violent to the detriment of business as well as injuries on the part of innocent citizens.”

Mr Mutashu said the economy cannot afford deliberate setbacks especially when it is still recovering from the ravages of the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said protests would not solve the country’s problems but rather worsen the situation through supply chain disruptions, production stoppages, job losses, property destruction, violence and loss of human life and price instability among other negative consequences.

“In light of the above, CZR, therefore, calls for business and the general public to ignore retrogressive calls for a stayaway and continue to work for the good of the economy.

“CZR rather implores dialogue as the most feasible and sustainable way towards resolving the current economic headwinds. Businesses must take advantage of President Mnangagwa’s open-door policy because dialogue is the hallmark of sustainable peace and stability. Zimbabweans should never take for granted the existing peace in the country as confrontation breeds lawlessness and anarchy,” Mr Mutashu said.

Mr Ephraim Chizola from Munhumutapa Royal Charter echoed similar sentiments saying the stay away calls were being made at the instigation of the West.

“They are funding student bodies to cause disorder in the country to effect regime change. We are a sovereign State and we have our own challenges, most of which are a result of the illegal sanctions.

“This is not the time to stay away because there is nothing positive that will come out of it,” he said.

Mr Chizola said the Second Republic under President Mnangagwa had established various platforms for engagement where anyone is free to bring issues of concern.

He called on residents especially in high density suburbs to remain vigilant and effect citizens’ arrest on anyone disturbing peace.

“Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo as the President always says. I want to advise youths that they will gain nothing in burning tyres, blocking roads or engaging in violence.

“We will only destroy our country and our children’s future,” Cde Chizola said.

Meanwhile, church leaders have denounced the planned shutdown by elements within student representative body Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU).

ZINASU last week issued a statement saying the organisation will shutdown all colleges and universities today to protest the hiking of tuition fees.

However, religious leaders have reminded the nation of the need to put national interests ahead of selfish political ambitions of certain individuals.

Speaking during a memorial service held for victims of the recent Zion Christian Church (ZCC) bus accident held at Ngangu ground in Chimanimani, Zimbabwe Indigenous Interdenominational Council of Churches president, Prophet Andrew Wutaunashe, said the call for a shutdown is counter productive.

“We hear some calls being made encouraging people not to go to work or school. This will not do us any good as a nation. We need to sit down and think of amicable ways of resolving our challenges in unison as one nation.

“We want to tell those that are calling for a shutdown to come to their senses and shun foreign interests in their thinking. We want peace. We want development. That can only come if the nation speaks as one,” he said.

In an interview on the sidelines of the memorial service, Bishop Nehemiah Mutendi said the church will always support amicable resolution of issues and denounce reckless and needless confrontational approach.

“We are mindful of the need to build our nation, especially after being in possession of our natural resources, Chief among them the soil. We want to remind all that the church is not for needless confrontational approach to resolving challenges,” he said. Herald.

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