The Zimbabwe Republic Police and Zanu PF were the major perpetrators of human rights abuses during the month of December 2019, a report by the Zimbabwe Peace Project reveals.
BY TAPIWA ZIVIRA
In its Monthly Monitoring Report of December 2019, the pro-peace monitoring and documentation organisation states that police occupied 38% of perpetrators, up from 34.6% recorded in November
According to the statistics, Zanu PF ranks second at 33.17 percent while 10.58 percent are unknown.
The Zimbabwe National Army constitutes 8.65 percent of the perpetrators while the MDC is at 4.33 percent.
Illegal gold panners, known as Mashurugwi, contributed 3.37 percent of the perpetrators while war veterans were at 0.96 percent.
Commenting on the rise in violation of human rights, ZPP states, “this upward trend, if not addressed could result in the police becoming a law unto themselves. ZPP calls for the operationalization of Section 210 of the Constitution that enables citizens to make complaints that involve the security sector,”.
“Police brutality and harassment is disturbing as it presents a scenario where the supposed citizens’ protectors become a threat to the same citizens.”
Throughout December, police carried out operations to clamp down on vendors in Harare city centre, and there were numerous reports of the police being heavy handed in its operations.
“On 12 December 2019, anti- riot police officers assaulted and apprehended vendors and members of the public in Harare CBD at Market Square. In the midst of street battles with vendors, police assaulted labour rights activist, Nation Mudzitirwa whom they spotted disembarking from renowned human rights lawyer, Douglas Coltart’s vehicle.”
“Mudzitirwa sustained serious injuries on the face, back and knees. Among the victims who were apprehended were six males and seven females. The police also forced Mudzitirwa into their vehicle and later released him without any charge, before getting to Harare Central Police Station.”
Other cases recorded by ZPP include the harassment of journalists Blessing Chidakwa and Abel Karowangoro , MDC ward 43 Councillor, Norman Makondo, among others.
According to ZPP, “on 13 December 2019, a number of MDC youths were attacked by suspected Zanu PF youths in Shurugwi Rural, ward 6 where a by-election was due to take place on December 14.
Unidentified MDC youths were allegedly assaulted several times and their fliers burnt by the Zanu PF youths.”
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