Harare – Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has reportedly described as "negligent and reckless" the judges, who in the past weeks have sanctioned political demonstrations in the southern African country.
Local media reported on Sunday that Mugabe, 92, took a swipe at the judges for allowing protests against his government by opposition parties and pro-democracy groups.
According to a state-owned newspaper, The Sunday Mail, Mugabe said this while addressing the Zanu-PF Youth League National Assembly at the party’s headquarters in Harare on Saturday, just after arriving from a private visit in Dubai.
"Our courts and judges should understand it even better. They dare not be negligent in their decisions as requests are made by people who would want to demonstrate.
"Surely, they can take note of the fact that the mission is clear and deliberate towards causing violence.
Tide of violent protests
"We can’t allow that to continue unimpeded. Enough is enough," Mugabe was quoted as saying by The Standard newspaper.
The nonagenarian said Zimbabweans had a duty and obligation to ensure that there was peace in the country, warning protesters against destruction of property.
Mugabe’s utterances came just a few days after the Zimbabwean police issued a ban on protests in the capital for the next two weeks.
The notice cited a lack of manpower to prevent disorder. It said that demonstrations would only be allowed after September 16.
The notice also stated that anyone taking part in protests before then, could be imprisoned for up to a year.
Zimbabwe has seen a mounting tide of violent protests in the past weeks, with demonstrators calling for the resignation of the veteran leader.
Mugabe had been in power since 1980 when the country won independence.
Police have often used tear gas, water cannons and open violence to crush the demonstrations.