Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) condemns the excessive use of force on peaceful protesters over the last few weeks.
The physical violence meted out on civilians taking part in peaceful protests has been uncalled for and it is disappointing that no official statement has been made by the government publicly condemning the violence. We have reached a point where the police undoubtedly need to be reminded of their role in the law enforcement system. Their role, according to section 219 (1) (c) and (d) of the Zimbabwean Constitution is to protect and secure the lives and property of the people and maintaining law and order.
Although the constitution guarantees peaceful protests and the courts interpret the same right, the police go on to view protesters with suspicion and distrust. Such a relationship between the police and members of the public leads to more violent attacks between the two groups. Citizens continue to be hospitalised as a result of police brutality and ZPP implores the responsible authorities to put a stop to this and is calling for an end to the protection of police officers who violate the law.
The on-going attacks of civilians by the police are proof that Zimbabwe lacks accountability mechanisms that guide police officers. As demonstrations gain momentum with various groups making demands on the government, it is unacceptable for police officers to start behaving like vigilantes.
Please send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org or @zppinfo on Twitter.