ZimRights condemns army attacks on civilians

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By Paidashe Mandivengerei

TOP rights lobby, Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) has raised concerns over the Zimbabwe National Army’s alleged involvement in partisan politics culminating in assaults on some opposition activists.

In a Monday statement, the group said it had noted that there have been a number of reports linking members of the military to attacks on MDC Alliance supporters.

The most recent, according to ZimRights, was that of an MDC Alliance campaign team leader in Harare East, one Tarisai Musurudzwa who was recently attacked by soldiers guarding a house belonging to a Rt. Nyambuya.

The attack was also raised by Tendai Biti’s People’s Democratic Party.

The rights group called for an investigation into the conduct of some members of the army.

“ZimRights calls upon the army and the police to investigate the criminal and unconstitutional attack by the soldiers, which left Musurudzwa bloody, injured and with torn apparel,” said the group.

The rights defender said the attack was unfortunate in that it came hard on the heels of a recent army pledge to political impartiality delivered at a press briefing by army spokesperson, Colonel Overson Mugwisi.

Mugwisi had said the army will not interfere with election campaigns and promised to be ready to deal with members of the force who deviated from the position.

“The attack is an abominable violation of human rights and a stain on the conduct for free, fair and credible elections at a time when other genuine concerns have also been raised about the transparency of the election process,” said ZimRights.

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