President designate of Zimbabwe, Emerson Mnangagwa, has promised citizens that freedom of speech, of assembly and the right to criticise the government is protected by his administration.
“This is an indispensable part of the new Zimbabwe. It is non-negotiable and will not change. We won the election freely and fairly, and have nothing to hide or fear. Anyone is free to address the media at any time,” he said on his official twitter account this afternoon, shortly after riot police had tried to disrupt a press conference called by MDC president Nelson Chamisa.
The ZRP descended on the conference venue and ordered some 40-50 local and foreign journalists to “get out”. after about an hour of chaos the acting Minister of Information SK Moyo arrived and the police departed shortly thereafter. Within an hour Mnangagwa said via twitter: “The scenes today at the Bronte Hotel have no place in our society and we are urgently investigating the matter to understand exactly what happened. Over the past nine months we have protected freedom of speech, of assembly and the right to criticise the government.”
The press conference then went ahead, after scenes of the police behaviour had been broadcast all around the world. Chamisa said the MDC refused to accept the results of the election, which he said they could prove had been rigged in an amateurish manner.