The Zimbabwean government said Tuesday it will not allow any threats by the opposition to overthrow it while reiterating that the enjoyment of constitutional rights by citizens should not infringe on the rights of others.
The reaction by the government came after the European Union (EU) and other Western nations including Britain and the United States, issued a joint statement Tuesday reprimanding the Zimbabwe government for alleged human rights violations before, during and after the opposition-led demonstration in Harare on Aug. 16.
In the joint statement, the EU expressed concern over the alleged intimidation, harassment and physical attacks on human rights defenders, trade union and civil society representatives, and opposition politicians prior to, during and after the protest.
Last Friday, police fired tear gas and beat up opposition protesters who tried to march in the streets of the capital Harare in defiance of a police and High Court ban on the protests.
The police banned the protest, fearing it would turn violent as has been the case with previous opposition-organized protests.
"The Zimbabwean Constitution guarantees the right to personal security from violence and prohibits physical or psychological torture. The Heads of Mission urge the authorities to respect these fundamental rights, and to hold perpetrators of violence legally responsible," the EU said in a statement.
However, in its response, the Ministry of Information said the Zimbabwe government would not fold hands while the opposition causes anarchy in the country.
"Section 86 of our Constitution provides that enjoyment of rights should not prejudice the rights and freedoms of others. It is also important to note that, no government would allow threats to overthrow a constitutional order to be carried through. Zimbabwe stands as no exception," the ministry said in a tweet.
Police have since banned similar protests that had been planned by the opposition in the cities of Bulawayo and Gweru on Monday and Tuesday, respectively.
It remains to be seen whether police would allow the party's planned demonstrations in the cities of Masvingo and Mutare on Wednesday and Thursday respectively to go ahead