For once be professional – police told amid clampdown on opposition

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By Leopold Munhende | Chief Correspondent

ZIMBABWE Human Rights NGO Forum Acting Executive Director Wilbert Mandinde has called on the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) to be professional in its conduct, amid a flurry of arrests in the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) camp.

The police, widely believed to be operating at the whim of ruling Zanu PF, stands accused of wantonly dragging CCC leaders into cells, abduction attempts and torture for unknown reasons.

Already two CCC legislators, Ostallos Siziba and Maureen Kademaunga have been arrested, barely two weeks after President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s inauguration.

Siziba stands accused of inciting violence at the Dynamos versus Highlanders blockbuster last week. His counterpart Kademaunga’s case was dropped despite having spent a night in police cells on attempted murder allegations.

An opposition candidate in rural Chirumanzu South Patrick Cheza and Harare’s Deputy Mayor Kudzai Kadzombe are some of those who have also been charged within the period.

Speaking to Mandinde said the ZRP should, for at least one time, show that it is not partisan.

He highlighted how reports by opposition players were being ignored while CCC supporters and leaders were filling up cells.

Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum Acting Executive Director Wilbert Mandinde

“We call on our police for once to be professional. We remain concerned about the seemingly partisan approach taken by the police in arresting members of the opposition while rarely ever arresting those from the Zanu PF party,” said Mandinde.

“Opposition supporters have been reporting Zanu PF supporters to the police with nothing being done.

“We are concerned with the arrest of opposition MPs, we are worried about these arrests which are coming just after elections.”

The police has been accused of folding hands whenever a Zanu PF supporter perpetrates crime.

Killers of CCC supporter Mboneni Ncube were let go while opposition figures have been forced to consider jail time for even encouraging families of victims to seek justice, as happened to Job Sikhala.

Harare councillor Womberaiishe Nhende is in hiding after being heavily tortured by suspected State Security agents in the capital.

Images of Nhende’s sjamboked back made rounds online after his abduction and torture.

Added Mandinde: “Such actions after elections make us wonder what causes such retribution. After elections is primarily meant for people to go back to their lives and certainly there is no need for all this violence, abduction, arrests and torture we continue to hear about.”

Mnangagwa was declared winner of Zimbabwe’s disputed election with 52.6% of the vote against CCC President Nelson Chamisa’s 44%.