Thursday, July 22, 2010

Zimbabwe: Senior MDC Official Assaulted - Police Did Nothing

A senior MDC official taking part in a constitutional outreach meeting was on Monday severely assaulted in front of the police, who shockingly did nothing to arrest the culprits who are alleged to be ZANU PF officials.
The incident took place at Kaziro Business Centre, Madziva in Shamva North, Mashonaland Central province, on the day the consultative meetings resumed after a week long break.

Morgan Komichi, the MDC-T's deputy national organising secretary, said they were deeply concerned by reports of the assault of Martha Muronzi, the MDC Women Assembly's chairperson for the province.

'The attack took place in full view of the police, the COPAC leadership and participants to the outreach program. The reason for the attack is that she submitted a written proposal to the COPAC team. The attackers are well known ZANU PF officials who branded our chairlady a sell-out for freely airing her sentiments during the meeting,' Komichi said.

He added; 'They brazenly reminded her that in 2008, they burnt down homes belonging to MDC supporters and that this time they would kill people. What pains me is that instead of arresting the attackers, the police simply escorted her to their vehicle and drove her home in order to calm the situation down.'

Komichi said the incident confirmed the lethargic attitude from the police, with regard to the way they deal with ZANU PF individuals who break the law. He said participants to that meeting were seriously let down by the law enforcement officers.

'Such behaviour by the police seriously undermines their status in society and they've lost all the respect for their political bias. Instead of taking action against the perpetrators of violence, they actually end up apologising to ZANU PF as if the police report to the former ruling party,' Komichi added.

The MDC senator, who is spearheading the party's push for a new constitution, said they 'demand the police do their constitutional duty and protect all Zimbabweans.'

'Take for instance an incident in Seke yesterday (Monday) where three elderly gentlemen aged 70, 63 and 61 were arrested on orders of an army brigadier for allegedly torching a house in the area. On close scrutiny, it was discovered the trio did exceptionally well in articulating their views during a COPAC meeting in their area,' according to Komichi.

The three elders, identified as Joseph Nyandoro, Jacob Chivaura and Mwarianesu Mutandwa, were still in custody at Beatrice police station.

'We demand the police to be very fair. These are some of the issues we will raise tomorrow (Wednesday) with ZANU PF and our counterparts from the MDC-M,' Komichi said.

The three national executive bodies from the three main political parties in the Global Political Agreement (GPA) will meet in Harare on Wednesday for discussions on the issue of violence and national healing.

The meeting comes at a time when the country is facing a new wave of political tension and intimidation, as witnessed so far in almost all the provinces. Komichi said his party believes there is need for political leaders and political parties to understand and appreciate the values of transitional justice, tolerance and peace.

ZANU PF and the country's security forces, particularly the ZRP, have often and accurately been described as an appendage of the former ruling party. Some critics have gone to the extent of labelling the police force nothing more than an extension of ZANU PF.

Africa News - Fact About Africa

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