Itai Dzamara/Blessing Zulu
CIVIL society and the opposition have condemned the assault on National Constitutional Ass-embly (NCA) chairman Lovemore Madhuku by police on Wednesday.
P>Madhuku was severely beaten up by riot police after attempting to lead members of the assembly in a demonstration to press for constitutional reforms. The police reportedly dumped the NCA leader near the National Sports Stadium in Harare.
“Whether or not the provisions of the draconian Public Order and Security Act (Posa) were complied with by the NCA in holding a demonstration for a new constitution outside parliament, the barbaric treatment meted out by riot police to the demonstrators, accompanied, according to reports, by threats on the life of Dr Madhuku, is totally unjustified and deserves
condemnation,” said the Human Rights NGO Forum in a statement.
The forum said the “conduct of the riot police on 4 February contravened sections of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, let alone the Code of Conduct of the ZRP itself”.
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) condemned the use of brute force by police.
“It seems the police have realised that draconian laws like the Public Order and Security Act have failed to suppress the aspirations and activism of the majority, which it was in the first place promulgated for, and have now resorted to the use of brute force,” said the ZCTU.
Abducting Lovemore Madhuku and severely beating him and dumping him in the bush was an act of savagery, the ZCTU said.
The Zimbabwe Liberators Platform urged Madhuku and NCA members to continue to push for constitutional reform.
“The reincarnation of repressive laws that many fought during the liberation war destroys citizens’ hopes for a negotiated end to their suffering,” the ZLP said.
The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said in a statement: “The MDC condemns in the strongest terms the brutal assault and the unleashing of dogs on scores of members of the NCA by armed and uniformed members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police.
“The latest attack on peace-loving Zimbabweans is further evidence of the intolerance by the Mugabe regime and it leaves no doubt in the minds of all Zimbabweans and the international community that the regime is bent on suppressing the democratic expression of the people of Zimbabwe. Despite all these brutal attacks on innocent civilians, the will of the people will prevail.”