The Election Situation Room (ESR) notes the protests happening around Zimbabwe as a response to the hike in fuel prices and demands for payment of salaries in USD dollars. Members of the ESR have monitors who are observing and reporting on the incidents as they happen around the country.
Incidents of violent protesting, looting and destruction of property have been noted in Mabvuku, Epworth, Chitungwiza, Kadoma, Nyanga and Bulawayo. Shops in Bulawayo and Harare central business district opened early yesterday and as the situation deteriorated they closed. Today, all shops are closed and all schools including private schools closed their operations. There is no public transport on the road today and ESR members have reported that those who work in critical sectors are having challenges with transport.
Section 59 of the Constitution of the Republic of Zimbabwe states that:
Every person has the right to demonstrate and to present petitions, but these rights must be exercised peacefully.
Citizens of Zimbabwe have the right to demonstrate enshrined in the constitution but this should be exercised peacefully and within the confines of the law. Citizens are encouraged to desist from violent behaviour in showing their displeasure. We call upon the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission to spearhead engaging all concerned parties, stakeholders, political parties and citizens to a national dialogue so as to build a positive social contract, trust and address the economic challenges that are being faced