The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned the continued use of brutality by the police to quash peaceful demonstrations, which has resulted in scores of innocent people receiving permanent and life threatening injuries.
In a statement the Tendai Biti led PDP said ,”Since 6 July 2016, when the people of Zimbabwe decided to stage peaceful protests against the severe socioeconomic challenges and public sector corruption, the police have resorted to the use of brute force and teargas to break the demonstrations.
“The citizens are protected by the country’s Constitution to hold peaceful demonstrations but the rogue Zanu PF controlled police officers have turned against the people they are supposed to protect,” reads part of the statement.
The statement added that, “Chilling and uncomfortable details are coming out in most parts of Harare, Beitbridge, Bulawayo and Kwekwe on how the police have indiscriminately attacked innocent people resulting in some receiving serious injuries.”
“”A minor Tapuwanashe Mutasa and an unidentified adult passed away at Burombo Flats, Makokoba in Bulawayo on 6 July 2016 after police fired teargas in the corridors at the flats in a clampdown on protestors.
“Chamunorwa Ngamurani of Budiriro, Harare, now has his hand in a cast after the police attacked him and broke his arm. He is now failing to fend for his family as he was self-employed.
“Jessica Svunirai of Epworth is uncertain whether her 16 year-old son will ever lead a normal life after he was also severely attacked by the anti-riot police and spent some nights at Harare Central Police Station without receiving medical attention,” said PDP.
Zvikomborero Mukarakate and Gabriel Vhuzhuri were also hospitalized for days after they were heavily assaulted and arrested by the police.
Last Friday, vendors in central Harare were tear gassed while others were arrested after staging a peaceful demonstration against harassment by the city council.
The PDP is also concerned the continued arrests and denial of bail to prominent protesters like Linda Masarira and Stendrick Zvorwadza.
“Journalists have also not been spared in the latest police dragnet with several media personnel being harassed, arrested or told to delete their footage of police brutality.
“On 6 July, the police also blocked internet services despite a recent United Nations Human Rights Council resolution on the protection of rights online and for countries to refrain from disrupting internet service,” said PDP in a statement.
As PDP, we are seriously concerned by the continued to violation of human rights in the country without regard to protections enshrined in the country’s constitution.
Going forward PDP, called upon SADC and the international community to confront and demand that Robert Mugabe puts an end to Zimbabwe’s poor human rights record as this could also weaken the region.
“In spite of the acts of brutality by the police and the Zanu PF regime, the PDP calls on the people of Zimbabwe not to give up. The people must continue to call for the stepping down of Mugabe and his incompetent, brutal and uncaring government,”