João Lourenço, who was speaking as leader of the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), at the opening of the IV ordinary session of the Central Committee, commented on the events held on Saturday in Luanda, organized by young people from civil society, with the participation of leaders and activists of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA).
According to the MPLA leader, citizens have the right to assemble and demonstrate, however, in this time of pandemic, "their full enjoyment is temporarily conditioned", through the Presidential Decree of the state of public calamity, to avoid the "serious threat" "of propagation and contamination of covid-19.
"We reiterate the right to demonstrate, something that is a reality in our country, where peaceful demonstrations, protests or rights claims have taken place, but I cannot help expressing our indignation at the most recent and sad events in Luanda. ", said João Lourenço.
The attempted demonstration was aborted by the police, who clashed with the protest organizers, who responded by throwing stones, placing containers and burning tires on the roads, and which caused the destruction of police resources.
For the head of state, the direct involvement of UNITA and its deputies to the National Assembly, duly identified, "is reprehensible and must deserve the most vehement rejection of Angolan society, which cannot allow political parties, with parliamentary seats, to incite the youth and the population for civil disobedience ".
"UNITA must assume all the consequences of its acts of irresponsibility, which can contribute to the sharp increase in new cases of contamination by covid-19," he said.
This behavior by UNITA, continued João Lourenço, can compromise and throw down all the effort that the nation has been doing, since March this year, in fighting the pandemic.
"All the investments made in field hospitals, beds and ventilators and biosafety materials, molecular biology laboratories, all the sacrifices made every day by health professionals, who risk their own lives to save other lives," he said.
UNITA's behavior may cause the country to have to enter a state of emergency again, he stressed, adding: "[Something] that we would all like to avoid, due to the serious consequences on people's family, social and professional life and on the country's economy ".
The head of state warned that "the strategy of making the country ungovernable, to force bilateral negotiations, in the current political context, in which the democratically instituted institutions are fully functioning, is not achievable".
"In view of the likelihood of a replication of what happened in Luanda across the country, the competent authorities will remain attentive and fulfill their role of maintaining public order and enforcing the measures taken in the context of public calamity," he said.
Following Saturday's events, a group of 103 protesters was detained and their trial has been taking place since Monday at the Provincial Court of Luanda, where new acts, considered by the authorities, of arruaça were recorded, which caused damage to private individuals and property. public.
Protesters also reported that two people were shot dead, information that authorities have not confirmed.