DIASPORANS PROTEST OVER ZIMBABWE POLICE BRUTALITY
Zimbabweans in the Diaspora are planning to stage a protest at the Zimbabwean embassy in London on Wednesday in a bid to push government to deal with police brutality.
This comes amid calls by civil society activists for authorities to compensate families of two people that were recently shot dead by the police.
The protest is being organised by Restoration of Human Rights Zimbabwe United Kingdom Chapter together with the MDC, Zapu, Women of Justice Arise, Zimbabwe Human Rights Organisation and MaZimbabweans Yes We Can.
This is also happening at a time when social activists are calling for the police to compensate families of the bereaved.
Several organisations have expressed outrage over the killing of the two civilians by members of the ZRP, following a heated scuffle in Harare’s Central Business District (CBD) recently.
Harare’s CBD resembled a war zone as law enforcement agents blocked commuter omnibuses from either dropping or picking passengers in the capital.
This followed an unpopular directive by the Harare City Council to ban commuter omnibus operators from ferrying passengers into the city centre under an operation code-named Clean-up Harare CBD.
Police commissioner-general Godwin Matanga had to issue a formal apology following the incident, even though he insisted the police had been provoked and that they were not aware that the operation had been called off.
Following this incident, the Tendai Biti-led People’s Democratic Party (PDP) said repression and police brutality had no place in modern democracy.
“The deaths are a result of a conflict emanating from the failure to deal with a peripheral issue of congestion.
“A government with no respect for human life must be jettisoned, removing (former president Robert) Mugabe and a few G40 fellows is tinkering with the deck while the titanic is sinking,” PDP said.
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) also criticised the police over the killings.
“CiZC condemns in the strongest sense, the inappropriate and violent law enforcement process which resulted in the death of three innocent civilians as police tried to forcefully enforce an ill-timed ban of commuter omnibuses in Harare’s CBD,” the organisation said.
Ancelmo Magaya’s Zimbabwe Divine Destiny also said: “The horrific pictures of burning vehicles right in front of the ZRP Harare Central Police Station and the stoning of the same which came as a result of public indignation over reckless shooting of at least two people by a trigger-happy police detail, paints a very gloomy and dark picture of the state of governance in our nation”.
Zimbabwe’s police have a history of using excessive force when it comes to enforcing certain statutes.
Some police officers have been previously sued in their personal capacities over these senseless brutal attacks.