Nduduzo Tshuma/Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporters
POLITICAL parties and human rights organisations yesterday hailed the Zimbabwe Defence Forces for guaranteeing the safety of the people as the military stepped in to restore sanity in Government.
The ZDF on Tuesday announced that it had stepped in to weed out of Zanu-PF criminal elements surrounding President Mugabe engaged in activities meant to destabilise the government.
In a statement aired on national broadcaster Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation television, army spokesman, Major General Sibusiso Moyo, assured Zimbabweans that the ZDF had not staged a coup, adding that President Mugabe and his family’s safety was guaranteed.
In a statement yesterday, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission said it was encouraged by the military’s stance that it would not interfere with the country’s separation of powers.
“The ZHRC is encouraged by the assurance by the military concerning the imperative to uphold constitutionalism and values of justice, non-violence, human rights and freedoms in resolving the current political situation,” read the statement.
“The commission also observes the positive assurances of non-interference in the discharge of duties by arms of Government, including the Judiciary and the Legislature as well as the appeal made to different sectors of society to perform their functions and duties in a responsible manner that promotes peace, stability, unity and development in the country,” read the statement.
The commission urged the military to work towards normalising the situation which it claims was creating anxiety among citizens.
“As the country awaits with anxiety the resolution of the current situation, the ZHRC further implores the military to continue to exercise restraint bearing in mind the duty of the State and every person to respect, protect, promote and fulfill fundamental rights and freedoms as provided for in Section 44 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe in particularly the sanctity of life.
“Finally, the ZHRC encourages that there be quick return to constitutionalism and democracy so that people of Zimbabwe can continue to enjoy their fundamental rights and freedoms.”
MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday said his party appreciates, “the assurances and the commitment to peace and the sanctity of human life by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, including respect for citizens’ fundamental rights.”
Zimbabwe rainbow Coalition leader Dr Joice Mujuru also said they were heartened by assurances by the ZDF. “We note the current political developments in our country. We are however, heartened by the assurances given during the present political developments that condemns violence and encourages peace.
“We therefore urge Zimbabweans that the observation of the rule of law be the cornerstone of our conduct as we seek to revive our constitutional democracy. We are at a time that peace can only be realised through maximum restraint and constructive exchange of ideas as Zimbabweans,” said Dr Mujuru at a press conference in Harare yesterday.
“Going forward as PRC, we believe that present political developments require collective engagement and national dialogue of all critical stakeholders in our country. Beyond political actors, it should also include faith based organisations, workers movements, civil society and students’ movements.
“For the success of such collective engagements and dialogue, there is no doubt that we are in need of transitional arrangements that should attend to key issues of economic recovery and electoral reform processes.”