Harare has turned into a ghost town ahead of the 31st Demonstrations.

According to the Herald the United Nations has always allowed governments to suspend citizens’ right to assembly on certain grounds including when public health is at stake.

The publication reports when the Zimbabwean government is seeking to thwart the planned anti-government protests slated for today on the basis that they will worsen the spread of the coronavirus.

Security forces were instructed yestaday to sleep at their respective stations,planning law enforcement measures early this morning.

The Herald cites the United Nations’ International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, signed by 173 countries which it says has always allowed the suspension of some rights and freedoms.

It also cites the “general comment,” a document written by Christ of Heyns which notes that the UN agreement sets the protesters’ and police’s expected behaviour during a crisis. The document reads in part:

The protection of ‘public health’ ground may exceptionally permit restrictions to be imposed, for example, where there is an outbreak of an infectious disease and gatherings are dangerous.

There is an impasse between the state and organisers of the anti-corruption protests who are saying the citizenry has the right to assemble and protest against rampant corruption in the country.

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