Back to Index
This article participates on the following special index pages:
Strikes and Protests 2007- Save Zimbabwe Campaign
statement on Zimbabwe rights abuses
Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA)
March 12, 2007
View Save Zimbabwe
of images and articles
It has come
to our attention that on Sunday 11 March 2007, Mr. Gift Tandare,
a Zimbabwean citizen was shot and killed by police in Highfields,
a suburb in the capital city of Harare.
He was on his
way to a prayer meeting.
from different walks of life had agreed to spend their Sunday, the
traditional day of Christian worship, in collective fellowship as
comfort to each other. Their aim: to build some hope for their country,
caught in a tangle of extreme political tension, economic hardship
and spiritual distress.
The prayer meeting
was organised by the Save Zimbabwe Campaign, an alliance of individual
Zimbabweans organized through their affiliations with their churches,
their labour unions, students' bodies, the media, youth groups,
women's organizations and a variety of political parties.
say riot police officers at the scene, advanced on the crowd and
fired multiple shots at the unarmed civilians. One of the bullets
hit Mr. Gift Tandare, aged 30, in the chest. He died on the side
of the road where others had dragged him before they fled the approaching
police. The officer who fired the fatal shot has not come forward.
We extend our
deepest condolences to Mr. Gift Tandare's wife and three children,
two daughters and a son, at this time of their loss. May you be
comforted by the knowledge of our prayers and support for you at
this tragic time.
was Youth Chairperson of the National
Constitutional Assembly (NCA) for Glenview suburb in Harare.
The NCA is a lawfully registered group that advocates for Zimbabwe
to adopt a homegrown, people driven constitution.
We take this
painful moment of Tandare's death to bring to the world's attention
our concern over the arrests of other civic and political leaders,
among them Dr Lovemore Madhuku, Lecturer at Law and Chairperson
of the NCA. He was beaten in police custody and rushed to Parirenyatwa
hospital. He was treated for a broken arm and has had five stitches
but remains in the cells at Marlborough Police Station.
We are additionally
concerned at the arrests of the leadership of political parties,
particularly those in the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC),
among them MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai, who was beaten to the
point of collapsing and was taken to Parirenyatwa hospital in the
early hours of this morning. He has since been taken to Borrowdale
police station and is unable to speak due to extensive injuries.
Other MDC members
assaulted and in custody include:
Ms Grace Kwinjeh,
beaten and held in custody at Braeside Police Station. Professor
Arthur Mutambara, and 4 others, held at Avondale Police Station.
Their condition could not be ascertained as visitors were denied
access to the detainees. Mr. Tendai Biti, Honourable Member of Parliament
for Harare East constituency, is in custody at Rhodesville Police
Station. The Honourable Nelson Chamisa, Member of Parliament for
Kuwadzana is in custody at Highlands Police Station. Mrs Sekai Holland
and Mr Elton Mangoma, also of the MDC are in custody at unknown
treatment of members of a legitimately registered political entity
goes against the letter and the spirit of the Southern African Development
Community (SADC) Guidelines and Principles on Free and Fair Elections
and the regulations governing detainees as outlined in the African
Charter for Human and People's Rights.
We raise further
concern that Mr. Harrison Nkomo, legal representative for the arrested
parties was not only denied access to his clients but also was himself
assaulted for seeking to protect the rights of his clients.
We are additionally
concerned by the reluctance of the Courts to treat this matter with
the urgency it deserves by delaying its response to the urgent application
placed before the Judge President on Sunday night.
A total of 49
Zimbabweans are currently confirmed to be detained at as many as
fifteen different police stations across the capital city. Further
arrests have been reported in Mutare, where 125 activists of the
opposition were picked up, and in Masvingo. The detainees have been
denied access to legal representation and medical attention.
This is the
latest assault on the human rights of citizens in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe is signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
and many other instruments that promote and protect the rights and
dignities of its citizens we urge immediate:
of the death of Gift Tandare on March 11 following the police
shooting in Highfield
from further detention of all those citizens who are being held
for having exercised their democratic right to peaceful protest
through the prayer meeting
of quality medical attention to all those who have been tortured
in police custody
- access by
lawyers to all those in custody.
should be enabled to enjoy their freedoms of peaceful protest and
assembly without fear of death from a police force whose mandate
is to protect them. We call upon the relevant government authorities
to repeal the ban issued in February on public meetings and protest
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.