THE NGO NETWORK ALLIANCE PROJECT - an online community for Zimbabwean activists  
View archive by sector


Back to Index

This article participates on the following special index pages:

  • Strikes and Protests 2007- Save Zimbabwe Campaign

  • Statement on escalation of politically motivated violence in Zimbabwe
    Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC)
    March 22, 2007

    View Save Zimbabwe Campaign index of images and articles

    The Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) notes with dismay the escalation of politically motivated violence countrywide that has been witnessed in the past few days especially in the Machipisa area of Highfields. This orgy of violence which is attributed to the ban on political gatherings in Harare Metropolitan Province for 3 months is provoking the opposition, especially at this strategic moment when political parties are preparing for the 2008 Presidential Election as per our Constitution. ZCC also notes with concern the statements being made by the police that they will resort to maximum force (when tenets of the law say minimum force) whenever the ban has been defied this is another provoking factor. We feel that the Zimbabwe Republic Police should have engaged all stakeholders as provided by Section 27 (2) (b) of the Public Order And Security Act before deciding on the ban.

    As ZCC we do not condone violence by whoever, and we strongly condemn:

    • The brutality by the police in handling the incident of Sunday 11 March 2007
    • The shooting to death of the M.D.C activist, Gift Tandare thereby further provoking other supporters and at the same time instilling fear among the civilians.
    • The brutal treatment of the opposition leaders and their supporters whilst in the hands of the police leading to their serious injuries
    • The attack and subsequent injury of the police officers in Highfields
    • The petrol bombing and serious injury of the police officers at Marimba Police Station
    • The damage to property

    If this state of affairs continues, we foresee a situation that will degenerate into civil unrest where there will be a lot of bloodshed. We also note with serious concern that criminal elements will manipulate the situation to carry out criminal activities under the guise of political activity.

    We therefore, call upon:

    • The police to refrain from being brutal when dealing with violent situations
    • The government and the police to consider lifting the ban on political gatherings as this will continue to provoke acts of violence
    • The opposition to urge its supporters to exercise restrain from violent conduct
    • The media to be objective when covering such incidents

    The church believes in non violence and it is our hope that all stakeholders should resort to non violent acts when carrying out their political activities. Even Jesus Christ, as He was facing death did not believe in violence (Luke 22 vs. 49 51).

    We therefore, recommend that:

    • All stakeholders engage in dialogue
    • Police should restrict themselves to their duties of arresting suspects and investigating all criminal activities and not to use torture and ill treatment as a means of interrogation.
    • All political parties be tolerant and embrace divergence views

    Please credit if you make use of material from this website. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.