OPPOSITION parties have strongly condemned the Zimbabwe Republic police for blatantly violating citizens’ right to participate in peaceful demonstrations.
This follows an anti-bond notes march which was brutally crashed by the police on Wednsday.
In an interview with 263Chat, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) spokesperson, Jacob Mafume said the conduct of the Police is intolerable.
“It was a barbaric and an embarrassment to the nation that the police responded brutally against citizens who were peacefully marching and expressing their concerns against bond notes.
“The actions by the police were unprovoked, unwarranted and a sheer sadistic exorcize in brutality,” Mafume told 263chat.
He added that the police should be joining the masses in demonstrating because they are suffering the same way as the ordinary citizens.
“It is a surprise that the police pretend as if they are living in heaven together with the first family, if the bond notes come, we are all going to be affected. So they should stop behaving like prefects at colonial school,” he said.
Mafume further urged citizens to keep on demonstrating until government responds.
Meanwhile, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) shadow Minister for Home Affairs, Giles Mutsekwa criticized the police for unleashing teargas on civilians.
“Scores of our supporters were injured in the State-sanctioned brutality while the teargas affected many of our members who were attending the national executive and national council meetings at the party headquarters. One of our MPs, Hon. Thabitha Khumalo was seriously injured and had to be rushed to hospital.
“Apart from the attacking innocent members at the MDC headquarters, the police also assaulted innocent citizens engaging in a sanctioned protest against government’s ill-advised plans to introduce bond notes. Despite the High Court allowing the protest march to proceed in Harare, the police went ahead to beat the protesters, including journalists on duty,” he said in a statement.
The party’s shadow Minister for Home Affairs further noted that beating up citizens will not solve anything but will only provoke anger within the people.
“We note with concern this reprehensible behaviour and their penchant to assault innocent citizens. Instead of stemming the rising discontent, these attacks will actually increase the ire of Zimbabweans. Of all the state security agents, it is the police that are currently leading in curtailing the rights and freedoms and rights of citizens,” he said.
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CIZC) a pressure group weighed in on police brutality saying members of the police are now the chief violators of the constitution.
“As CIZC, we are concerned that the law enforcement agents have become the biggest violators of the constitution which they are supposed to uphold.
“We are alarmed as CIZC that the police would resort to the use of force to crush peaceful and lawful protests by unarmed civilians.
“The behavior exhibited by the police today (Wednesday) stems from partisan conduct that has seen the police force defying court orders in a bid to protect the interests of the ruling party, Zanu (PF),’” said CIZC in a statement.