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Police, traditional leaders blamed for political violence
Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights)
July 05, 2011

Police were pointed out as one of the agents fuelling political related violence. This was during a human rights awareness meeting held by ZimRights at Kakora Secondary School in Chiweshe. Kakora residents confessed that they have ceased to rely on police for fair law enforcement. Selective application of the law has since become the norm, with many having suffered at the hands of the police due to their "unfavourable" political affiliation. Alleged and confirmed non ZANU PF supporters' cases are neglected by police for long periods of time without any efforts from the police to execute justice where it is due.

Participants also cited political immaturity as a major setback in the development of the country and democracy.

Headman and Chiefs were also said to be politically biased. Participants highlighted that it is important for traditional leaders to be able to differentiate between politics and the obligation that they have towards their people. This was stated as one of the major reasons why most leaders are failing. Participants emphasized and encouraged headman to serve their community rather than political party interests. One major example is the allocation of donated goods. Kakora residents highlighted instead of selecting the people in need of the donations within their communities some headman are giving donations to people from their political party. This has been most evident in areas where the headman is a ZANU PF loyalist. They said ZANU PF headmen are only distributing government subsidies to ZANU PF supporters who are in their political party's books.

The meeting in Chiweshe drew people from different pressure groups amongst them community leaders. There were 7 headman (names withheld), the councilor, 4 health committee members, 2 church representatives. With all these representatives present, divergent views and solutions were shared on how to uphold human rights, improve the human rights situation, while simultaneously developing their communities.

ZimRights appeals to the police and traditional leaders to have justice tolerance, mutual respect and human dignity in all activities. Political parties must desist from encouraging political violence as this has adverse effects on development in communities. State institutions such as the police must be apolitical serve and protect the interests of the citizens.

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