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Group vows police confrontation over activists’ harassment

By Staff Reporter

CRISIS in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) has vowed to confront the Zimbabwe Republic Police over the harassment of activists during last Thursday’s march which was blocked by the law enforcement agents.

The civic group, which has a membership base of 120 NGOs, had called for the abortive march to press for electoral reforms by the current Zanu PF led administration.

But some anti-riot police stopped the demo on the ostensible reason the marchers would disturb the smooth flow of traffic within Harare’s CBD.

Police only restricted activists to an assemble at Africa Unity Square and to present their petition on electoral reforms to the adjacent Parliament building.

They however blocked the activists from marching to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC)’s offices and the Justice Ministry to hand their petition.

A Harare court that later heard the challenge lodged by the democracy based group ruled that the police actions were “unlawful and unconstitutional”.

In a statement, CiZC welcomed the court ruling and further slammed police for their move to frustrate lawful activities by civic groups while giving preferential treatment to the ruling Zanu PF party.

“We take great exception to police maneuvers to frustrate genuine actions by civil society organisations,” said Crisis.

“CiZC also implores the police to desist from partisan conduct and allow all Zimbabweans to exercise their constitutionally guaranteed rights without undue hindrance.

“There is a tendency by the ZRP to give preferential treatment to ruling party activists whose programmes are often cleared without any hurdles.”

Crisis also took umbrage with the police’s labelling of activists as agents of regime change.

“CiZC is also concerned by the tendency by law enforcement agents to label civic society organisations as agents of regime change.

“This tendency by the police (as well as ruling party politicians) has been one of the leading factors of arrests as well as harassment of civic society activists.”

The group vowed to confront the country’s controversial law enforcement agents over their action.

“CiZC will also be submitting a formal complaint against threats issued to its members by the police on April 5, 2018,” said Crisis.

The recent act by police is contrary to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s continued pledges to restore a free society following decades of former President Robert Mugabe’s iron fisted rule.

Staff Reporter

The author Staff Reporter

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