New Zimrights Director Speaks On Police Brutality

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By Makanaka Masenyama

THE newly appointed Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (Zimrights) director says the government should stop abusing the national resources meant to uplift the lives of the majority but divert State coffers to deploy State security agents to attack innocent citizens.

Dzikamai Bere, who replaced longtime Zimrights director, Okay Machisa last month, said the increase in human rights abuses by the State was seriously affecting the country’s economy as foreign investors were shunning investing in Zimbabwe.

“There is a core relation on how countries treat their citizens and how investors feel about that particular country. This is what we call business with conscience,”said Bere.

“How do we promote economic practices without sacrificing our ethical principles of humanity? If as a society we put in place policies that clearly wipe out a people’s livelihoods it means we are making the population destitute.

“It increases poverty levels and when you have high poverty levels, crime increases and when crime increases there is insecurity. There is an increase of budget in containment of crime. That means the money which is supposed to go into production of bread and mealie meal will go into acquisition of arms and riot gear.”

Meanwhile, Bere said Zimrights was pushing for the implementation of a constitutional provision that creates an independent complaints commission handle complains of brutality especially those perpetrated by the police on the citizens.

“The Constitution provides that the government must establish an independent complaints commission to handle complains against security services and this includes mainly the police, “said Bere

“Currently there is a shadow law which we are pushing through our Parliament. The shadow law calls for an independent recourse to violations perpetrated by the State security agents,” the director of the pro-democracy movement said.