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Nkayi Community Parliament: Statement on Alleged Partisan Behaviour by Police

10 Oct 2022 at 07:12hrs | Views
Nkayi Community Parliament is strongly opposed to the alleged partisan and illegal behaviour by police in Nkayi with regard to political party gatherings. Reference is being made to the aborted Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) rally which was pencilled for Simbo in Ward 14 recently. Another instance is the embarrassing behaviour of the police in a constituency in Gokwe where a by-election campaign was marred by police interference against CCC but in favour of ZANU-PF. The Parliament views such wayward behaviour as gross indiscipline by the concerned officers. Sadly, such behaviour is not only detrimental to the image of the police force nationally, but also to that of the Zimbabwe government and its new dispensation, both locally and internationally, and should be nipped in the bud.

Sections 58, 59 & 67 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provide basic human and political rights for all qualifying citizens of Zimbabwe. With that in mind, barring anyone from attending or holding a political rally or meeting by the police is illegal and undemocratic. If the allegations are anything to go by, the people of Nkayi do not deserve such a partisan and obstinate police force that fails to interpret the basic requirements for holding a meeting or rally in Zimbabwean law. It is also strange but unsurprising that there has never been a ZANU-PF meeting in Nkayi or elsewhere that has ever been blocked by the police or required to obtain police clearance.

The net effect of the said behaviour of the police is a huge embarrassment on themselves and the Zimbabwe government. While the latter seems to be working hard on its international re- engagement efforts, some police officers are pulling in the opposite direction and working against that. Notably, government officials have in the past feebly disowned the unprofessional behaviour of the officers involved without taking any requisite action thereafter which implies that they are also complicit. If it is insubordination on the part of the officers involved, why is there no decisive remedial action taken against them?

With the whole world closely monitoring events in the country, this derelict behaviour of the police is likely to scuttle any calls for international solidarity against targeted sanctions. The biased behaviour is clearly reminiscent of Mugabe's first republic in which police officers became political commissars for ZANU-PF, thereby inviting targeted sanctions. If Mugabe was removed for among other things, the brazen abuse of office through the abuse of citizens by use of a partisan police force, why should this behaviour be allowed to continue? Was he disposed so that his misdeeds continue in another version called the new dispensation?

We do not need a police force that is bent on dividing the people of Nkayi along whatever creed, including political affiliation. Nkayi has suffered enough from political violence being fuelled by non-Nkayians. The people of Nkayi deserve equal treatment by anyone including the police, whether they are MDC, MRP, ZANU, Freedom Alliance, ZAPU, UMD, CCC, among others. We are united in our diversity and the police should learn to live with that. Politics should be left to politicians, not the police. Ironically, history shows that in Nkayi no violence has ever won anyone an election. For starters, the 1985 and 2002 elections should be useful case studies. These overzealous police officers are in danger of catalysing a ZANU-PF thudding loss in the forthcoming plebiscite through their provocation of the anger of the people of Nkayi by reminding them of the misdeeds of ZANU-PF violence from history.

Ultimately, Nkayi Parliament invites government and the police to view all Nkayians as equal and deserving respect regardless of their diverse political affiliations. They demand the right to campaign and to be voted into positions they seek. None should be disfavoured or favoured by the police, including ZANU-PF candidates. The non-partisan Parliament strongly calls on all Nkayians to shun any political organisation or candidate that promotes violence in the district whether it is the ruling party or opposition and only embrace quality local candidates with the district at heart. The call is also extended to the government of Zimbabwe to unequivocally distance itself from the unprofessional behaviour by some of its police officers. Such police officers should go for retraining. There should also be the inclusion of basic law, human and political rights in the curriculum for police recruits in order to equip them with the awareness of, and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms of all human beings in the country and globally.

If the government of Zimbabwe is serious about creating a positive image of the country, it should begin by creating a disciplined and relevantly qualified police force. Consequently, even the sanctions will fall off on their own!

Source - Nhlanhla Moses Ncube (Speaker of Nkayi Community Parliament)
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