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  • Violence, recrimination and arrests after policeman's death in Glen View - Index of articles

  • Glen View violence: Need to urgently reform POSA
    Youth Forum
    May 30, 2011

    The recent events that saw a policeman dying from violence that erupted in Glen View over the weekend points to the urgent need to revamp and reform the Public Order and Security Act (POSA). It was due to certain provisions of the draconian act that this law enforcing soul was lost, after skirmishes with revelers at Glen View 3 shopping centre.

    The Youth Forum does not condone violence in any form and from any end of the society and would like to take this opportunity to condemn the unnecessary violence that resulted in the death of the policeman. To this end, the Youth Forum has had a number of activities in the past aimed at promoting and encouraging peace and peaceful methods to solve conflicts or disputes. Violence is a cancer that should be rid from our societies and has no space in a democratic Zimbabwe.

    We would also like to implore the responsible authorities to quickly and expediently look at the provisions under POSA that can potentially lead to such clashes and unnecessary deaths. The Youth Forum is reliably informed that prior to the arrival of the police at Glen View 3 shopping centre, there was no violence and no one had been injured. Youth Forum sources in Glen View say that it was only after the police disturbed a group of beer drinkers that the violence erupted. It is not clear why the police decided to use the controversial POSA to disturb a normal and peaceful day and beat up individuals who were imbibing in the ever popular Delta Beverages drinks. Unfortunately the crowd could not understand and take the abuse from the law enforcement agents and decided to descend on the police officers resulting in the death of the unfortunate officer. The police allege that amongst revelers at the shopping centre were MDC activists who had earlier been dispersed after their notification to hold a meeting had been turned down at a different location. However, prior to the arrival of police, no violence had been reported.

    It is the provisions of POSA that deny people the right to gather and associate thereby denying them the constitutional freedoms of association and assembly that was used by the group of overzealous police in Glen View to disrupt the peaceful beer drinking gathering. The Youth Forum has always and continues to advocate for the repeal of such repressive legislature as it heavily curtails people's freedoms and often leads to clashes between the citizens and police. Freedom of assembly is critical for the development of any society and every person or people should be allowed to enjoy this right, regardless of race, political affiliation or any other such criterion. Youth Forum would also want to urge the current government to look at instituting meaningful security sector reforms as it is clear that these junior police officers were working under instructions from senior officers who are always bent on disrupting meetings and gatherings of perceived political opponents using the same provocative POSA.

    We would also want to urge youths from different walks of life to desist from using violence to solve differences. We urge the youths to engage in constructive activities like registering to vote. It is imperative that all youths register to vote and elect their preferred leaders who will represent them and preside over the formulation of laws that are rational. To make sure that many youths are eligible to vote, the Youth Forum is running a 'Youth Go Register to Vote' Campaign aimed at adding at least 1,000 000 (1 million) new young voters to the Voters Roll.

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