Back to Index
Chikorokoza violating human rights'
Moyo, The Zimbabwe Independent
December 15, 2006
HUMAN rights activists
have condemned the ongoing operation launched by the Zimbabwe Republic
Police (ZRP) to hunt down alleged gold panners as another assault
on human rights.
The raids, dubbed Operation
Chikorokoza Chapera/Isitsheketsha Sesiphelile, have witnessed police
mounting roadblocks on major highways to intercept suspected gold
dealers destined for neighbouring countries to sell their alluvial
Three major highways
leading to Zambia, South Africa and Botswana in Matabeleland have
been sealed as police mount roadblocks meant to recover the precious
But human rights activists
have hit out at the body and luggage searches by police on travellers
as violating basic human rights.
Kucaca Phulu, a human
rights lawyer, lambasted both the police and the government for
the disregard of human rights.
"The whole operation
shows total disregard the police and the government have for the
people of Zimbabwe," Phulu said.
"The searches show
a disregard of human rights. The searches are not even conducted
in a civilised manner. People are being made to queue like goats
and cows and the police don't show any respect for the people."
Phulu said it was illegal
for police to search people without any reasonable suspicion. "We
were not even notified that the police would be conducting those
leader of the militant Women
of Zimbabwe Arise activists, said the police had subjected travellers
to inhuman searches.
"We are disturbed
by the police who are being used to perpetrate inhuman treatment
on ordinary citizens."
Contacted for comment,
Chief Inspector Andrew Phiri professed ignorance of the presence
of the searches come against a Zimbabwe
Human Rights NGO Forum report released this week accusing the
police of numerous human rights violations between 2000 and now.
The report titled Who
Guards the Guards - Violations by Law Enforcement Agencies in Zimbabwe,
fingered state security agents as the biggest violators of human
rights who are used by the ruling party to "suppress opposition
and retain power".
has denied allegations of human rights abuses and has accused civic
groups like the Zimbabwe
Congress of Trade Unions, Woza and the National
Constitutional Assembly of provoking the police.
Please credit www.kubatana.net if you make use of material from this website.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.