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Strikes and Protests 2007- Save Zimbabwe Campaign
on police and human rights
Civic Education Trust (ZIMCET)
March 12, 2007
View Save Zimbabwe
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Civic Education Trust is greatly perturbed by the continued clashes
between the police, supporters of the opposition political parties
and civic society leaders. Three weeks ago the police had running
battles with MDC supporters over a rally in Highfields. Over the
weekend, the high density areas of Highfields, Glen Norah, Kuwadzana,
Waterfalls and Glen View were once again turned into war zones as
police held running battles with leaders of the Save Zimbabwe campaign.
It is reported that a number of political leaders and activists
were arrested and detained at undisclosed police stations. These
include Morgan Tsvangirai, Arthur Mutambara, Lovemore Madhuku and
Tendai Biti Secretary-General of the Mutambara MDC faction.
loss of life by one Gift Tandire is highly deplorable and ZIMCET
once again calls upon police to exercise due caution in the discharge
of their duties. The police had no justification to fire live ammunition.
They have sufficient means at their disposal to control crowds no
matter how rowdy, especially since there were children who were
allegedly being used as human shield by the demonstrators. Teargas,
water canons or even rubber bullets could have achieved better results.
In the same vein the assault on police on some police officers is
also condemned as this fuels the antagonism. Human life is sacrosanct
and the right to life can never be abrogated.
curfews in the high density areas by police in areas which are not
under the official rally ban are also a great cause for concern
for ZIMCET. This overzealousness on the part of the law enforcement
agents is highly regrettable and police should strive to uphold
the basic human rights tenets at all times. People's right
to movement and freedom of association are threatened by such impunity
on the part of the law enforcers.
upon all political parties to contest rulings and demands by State
agents in a peaceful manner. Non-confrontational means to conflict
resolution as well as sustained dialogue are more effective than
trying to fight fire with fire. ZIMCET strongly urges political
parties and their supporters to shun violence and seek peaceful
ways to resolve misunderstandings and differences thus avoiding
unnecessary loss of lives. The courts provide a course for redress
and that should be exhausted before any other means are even contemplated.
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