News / South Africa / Politics

Gopolang Moloko
1 minute read
16 Jan 2019
10:56 am

EFF’s message to Zimbabwe: Military should never be used against protesters

Gopolang Moloko

The EFF has condemned the Zimbabwean government's use of the military against protesters and described it as brutal.

EFF leader Julius Malema is seen addressing supporters outside the Brooklyn Police Station where he opened a case against Pravin Gordhan, 27 November 2018, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has appealed to the Zimbabwean government to respond to demonstrations with restraint. This comes after the people of Zimbabwe took to the streets to protest against the increase in petrol prices.

The EFF condemned the call for military intervention by the government on citizens and said citizens were only exercising their right to protest.

“A democratic government knows too well that militaries are not entities used to [be used to] respond to protesting, armless, and defenceless citizens. To unleash the military is to treat citizens as enemies of the state who must be met with excessive violence, force, and death, as militaries are death-driven, only to be deployed to those who are armed and sworn enemies of the people. Militaries should never ever be used against protests and civil defiance demonstrations actions.”

The EFF’s message comes after the opposition MDC appealed to Cyril Ramaphosa to intervene in the Zimbabwe crisis. Zimbabwe more than doubled fuel prices on Sunday.

In an effort to find a solution to fuel shortages, President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced an increase in the price of diesel and petrol. In rand terms, the new prices of fuel stood at around R43 a litre.

This ignited violent protests that reportedly claimed lives as soldiers were deployed in an effort to douse the anger by locals.

Tyres were burnt, roads were barricaded, and cars were torched in Harare and Bulawayo.

Zimbabwe police responded to protesters with live ammunition, rubber bullets, and tear gas. At least 13 people in and around Harare were reported to have sustained gunshot wounds.

Human Rights Watch has appealed to Zimbabwean authorities to stop using excessive force to quell protests in the region.

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