Civic Society Organisations under the banner of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) have expressed concern over police silence on the levels of political intolerance in the country following violent skirmishes targeting journalists and members of the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC).
Recently, CCC leader Nelson Chamisa convoy of vehicles came under attack from suspected Zanu PF supporters in Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe (UMP) ,a Zanu PF stronghold, Wedza and Gokwe.
In Gokwe, several journalists from the private media were attacked by suspected Zanu PF supporters resulting in one of the victims losing a tooth.
CiZC has implored the police without fear or favour investigate and arrest perpetrators of political violence as a way of enhancing public confidence in the force.
“Police should – without fear or favour- investigate, arrest and prosecute perpetrators of political violence, many of whom are known, and this not only enhances public confidence of the law enforcement agents, but also deters would be perpetrators, and creates and peaceful and free environment as Zimbabwe heads for the 2023 elections. The Coalition further implores the police not to coalesce with the ruling party in denying the opposition and civil society actors the space to conduct their business in line with the constitutionally guaranteed freedoms of association, assembly and expression.
“The role of the police in preventing violence and prosecuting perpetrators of violence is clearly encapsulated in Section 219 of the Constitution, which gives the police service the mandate of preventing crime, protecting lives and property, maintaining law and order, upholding the Constitution and enforcing the law without fear or favour. It is therefore with no doubt that having such recurring incidents of violence is an indictment on the Zimbabwe Republic Police,” said the Coalition
CiZC added “We further call on President Mnangagwa to publicly denounce violence within his party and live up to his own words, when – while addressing a Zanu PF Politburo meeting on Tuesday – he said, Zanu PF supporters should preach the gospel of peace, unity and love. It would be hypocritical of him to publicly denounce violence, while secretly condoning it, and in light of these recurring incidents, it is only prudent for Mnangagwa to call out his party supporters.”