By Leopold Munhende
THE Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) has raised alarm at how Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officers are conveniently ignoring crimes being committed by Zanu PF activists and members.
This is contained in the peace-based NGO’s May report focussing on politically motivated violations in the country.
According to ZPP, Zanu PF has been allowed to congregate supporters against Covid-19 regulations with party and state President Emmerson Mnangagwa also accused of having broken restrictions meant to contain the spread of the virus.
This, according to the group, is happening as opposition politicians and activists are often rounded up and prosecuted for holding public demonstrations or merely addressing press conferences.
ZPP said police have been active participants in the selective application of the law.
“The ZRP, which has played the role of enabling the selective application of the law in favour of the ruling party, ensured that only Zanu PF political party activities took place,” reads the ZPP report.
“For example, on 22 May 2021, MDC Alliance officials intending to conduct their clean up exercise in Mutare were confronted by police officers from the Police Internal Security and Investigation (PISI) department who ordered the meeting to end while in Harare, police arrested opposition politician Jacob Ngarivhume as he conducted a clean-up exercise in Mbare.
“The police’s reluctance to arrest Zanu PF affiliated perpetrators of crime and human rights violations continued with one of the major cases being that of the assault of an MDC Alliance supporter by Zanu PF activists at Jairos Jiri Shopping Centre in Rimuka, Kadoma.”
MDC Alliance members in Masvingo, Mashonaland Central and Mashonaland East have been arrested for meeting.
Mnangagwa’s Zanu PF however invited and convened members on 25 May in Harare where the national leader was unveiling Mbuya Nehanda’s statue.
According to the report, Zanu PF and the police are responsible for a combined 69.87 percent of human rights abuses in May.
Adds the report: “This month, the hand of the ruling Zanu PF in human rights violations became more pronounced.
“Last month, the party contributed to 22 percent of human rights violations perpetrators, and in May, there has been an increase, with the party contributing to 31.87 percent of human rights violations, closely following behind the ZRP, which contributed to about 38 percent of all violations compared to 50 percent in April.
“What this means is that the gun or rather violence continues to dominate the political space as the country heads for the 2023 elections.
“In essence, two years before the election, the human rights violations are already escalating and this only proves that once again, the gun is in charge.”