Human rights monitors across the country have accused the police of turning a blind eye to incidences of political violence where ZANU PF members are involved as perpetrators while calling for security sector reform.
This came out during a virtual Human Rights Training course for human rights monitors organized by Heal Zimbabwe early this week.
Participants highlighted that enjoyment of human rights in local communities remained a pipe dream since institutions such as the police, mandated to enforce the law were turning a blind eye to incidences of violence especially those that involve ZANU PF.
“During the 2008 political violence, police stations were no-go areas. In many incidences, victims of political violence were arrested when they made reports of violence. To this day, we have people within their communities who were either tortured or had relatives killed who did not report to the police because they were afraid of being arrested”, said one participant.
Participants also highlighted that law enforcement agents did very little to arrest perpetrators of political violence during the May 2022 by-elections.
“The recent by-elections exposed especially the police who did very little to arrest perpetrators of violence in Kwekwe that left scores injured and one person dead. The talk of elections in 2023 brings fear to us here in Mudzi since most perpetrators of political violence are protected by the local police. Without reforming our security sector political violence will continue to characterize our elections, even the 2023 elections,” said one participant from Mudzi.
Other issues that came out during the training include the inaccessibility of Independent Commissions such as the NPRC and ZHRC which made it difficult for communities to report cases of human rights violations.