Zimbabwe Peace Project is disappointed to learn about the brutal attack and abduction of Patson Dzamara and other activists. ZPP is further disillusioned by the deliberate destruction of property belonging to some of the activists. The incidents which are a flagrant violation of the rights of the activists occurred a day before a demonstration organised by various social movements and dubbed #MunhuWeseMuRoad. Suspected state security agents are alleged to have attacked the activists who were spearheading the demonstration and two cars were burnt during the ordeal.
The attack on the activists is seen as a way of intimidating Zimbabweans who were intending on taking part in the protest organised by social movements such as National Vendors Union of Zimbabwe, #Tajamuka, #ThisFlag, #ThisFlower and #ThisGown. The protesters intended to demonstrate against the pending introduction of bond notes, a surrogate currency to mitigate cash shortages in the ailing economy.
ZPP notes with concern that abductions are becoming a trend. In September officials of social movement #Tajamuka and the National Vendors’ Union of Zimbabwe, Silvanos Mudzvova and Kudakwashe Kambakunje, respectively, were abducted, tortured and injected with an unknown substance and left for dead. ZPP maintains that perpetrators of these heinous acts should be brought to book and citizens’ right to personal security must be respected.
Meanwhile Kuwadzana residents have reported that a group of approximately 20 Zimbabwe National Army officers in uniform ransacked nightclubs and assaulted patrons and vendors around 2am today. The assailants are alleged to have gone into Sunset Nightclub where they assaulted people with baton sticks and bare hands before proceeding to K2 Nightclub. At K2 Nightclub they assaulted vendors and patrons alike.
It is suspected that the motive of the attacks was to intimidate people from participating in #MunhuWeseMuRoad protest.
Heavy police presence in the Harare city centre hindered protesters from holding a demonstration against the pending introduction of bond notes. The harassment of Kuwadzana residents, reports on the abduction and torture of Patson Dzamara and three other activists as well as heavy police presence in Mufakose and Mbare intimidated people into not taking part in the demonstration.
The state, by deploying uniformed forces, has again thwarted citizens’ right to freedom of expression and freedom to demonstrate and petition.
If you are concerned about acts of violence in your community ZPP encourages you to get in touch with us on Hotline and WhatsApp numbers +263 774 883 406 and +263 774 883 417