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Residents irked by the rowdy behaviour of municipal police
Residents Association (CHRA)
April 20, 2010
Residents irked by the
rowdy behaviour of municipal police...as a commuter omnibus overturns
after its tires were deflated by municipal police
The Combined Harare Residents
Association (CHRA) and the generality of the residents of Harare
are not amused by the rowdy and irresponsible behaviour of the municipal
police officers who are constantly harassing residents for petty
issues. The overzealous officers threw a spike in front of a moving
commuter omnibus in a bid to stop it after the driver was accused
of flouting the City's parking by-laws. The commuter omnibus
overturned and crashed into another vehicle at Corner Julius Nyerere
and Robert Mugabe. The accident occurred at around 1pm yesterday.
The two municipal police officers took to their heels as the bus
was overturning. About eight people were injured and there are unconfirmed
reports that some died.
This unfortunate and
unnecessary incident has taken place barely six months after municipal
police caused the death of a vendor at Mupedzanhamo Market in Mbare.
It is shocking to note that the City of Harare seems to have done
nothing to keep its unprofessional police force in line considering
that they have caused the loss of life in the past. The municipal
police officers are operating in an increasingly militarized fashion;
a situation that has made them to become a nightmare to residents.
It defies logic to note that the Council seems to be more inclined
towards unleashing violence on residents instead of exploring professional
and amicable ways of disciplining offenders. Compromising the safety
and lives of residents for a $20 fine on wrong parking is simply
unacceptable and it is tantamount to serious human rights violations.
police are now infamous for their constant harassment of street
vendors. The officers even have the audacity to beat up the vendors
as well as confiscate their goods; a situation that has increased
the impoverished populace in Harare. Council is well aware of the
need of residents to make a living for themselves, but no plans
have been made to construct more market stalls for the vendors to
do their business without harassment. The tens of thousands of US
Dollars that are being used to employ military municipal police
officers who spend most of their time chasing vendors can be actually
used to build market stalls. It is of no gain to employ a huge number
of municipal police officers who have no knowledge of their key
CHRA calls on the Council
to address this issue as a matter of urgency before municipal police
shed more blood. The Association makes the following demands;
* The municipal police
officers, who are responsible for yesterday's accident must
be named, arrested and face the full wrath of the law.
* The Council should foot all the medical bills of the injured residents.
* The owner of the Commuter omnibus should be compensated for the
loss of his vehicle
* Municipal police should, with immediate effect, stop using spikes
to stop defaulting motorists
* A law must be put in place that protects residents and bars municipal
police from using violence and force to apprehend residents who
break municipal by-laws.
* The terms of reference for the municipal police should be re-defined
Visit the CHRA
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