Residents condemn police action

EDITOR — The Chitungwiza Residents Trust (CHITREST) and the Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) out rightly condemn the actions by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) on the 27th of January 2014 at Unit L Community Hall in Seke South, Chitungwiza when they disrupted a peaceful residents meeting and arrested five residents’ leaders.

The arrest of our leaders and their subsequent detention for two consecutive days at Chitungwiza Police and Harare Central Police stations was unwarranted and above all illegal.

The senior police officers who attended the scene acted in an immature, unprofessional, ignorant and overzealous fashion.

The close to 800 residents had gathered to discuss problems bedeviling their town and sought to come up with home-grown solutions to the challenges that include the house demolitions in Chitungwiza and Seke that the municipality started to implement last week on Friday and the deteriorating quality of service delivery among other issues.

The five arrested civic activists namely, Tinashe Kazuru, Jacob Rukweza, Simbarashe Moyo, Ms. Kanaveti and George Makoni who were alleged to have incited public violence and acted in a way that was likely to provoke public disorder and unrest, were finally released on Thursday morning, disappointingly without any charge.

This came after a lawful residents’ meeting had been disrupted and prematurely ended by uninformed police officers and we have no reason to celebrate the release of the five, for it sets a bad precedence where police wantonly pounce on legal gatherings and take away citizens’ right to freedom of assembly, association and of expression.

This negatively impacts on the level of participation in civic gatherings by the citizenry of Zimbabwe as most are not keen to be arrested for no apparent reason.

We also take this opportunity to acknowledge the professionalism exhibited by the staff in the office of the Prosecutor General who handled the case of the arrested Chitungwiza civic activists in denying prosecution citing that there was no crime committed by the residents.

Our lawyers had done a splendid job in trying to educate the police officers from the law and order section about the illegality of the arrests of the residents’ leaders, albeit in vain.

The message here is clear that, residents who are meeting for non-political issues need not get any police clearance.

The release of our leaders without any prosecution will assist us as Zimbabweans in assessing some of our constitutional rights which are often taken away from us by a few misguided elements in the police force.

We have since instructed our lawyers to prepare paperwork for the prosecution of the concerned overzealous police officers for unlawful arrests and detention of our leaders.

The police must investigate any wrong doing first before making a decision to arrest.

Chitrest and Chra

Comments (3)

Pachinemapurisa here makore ano? Angowe mapuruvheya nema ass lickers ega ega.

Mutirowafanza - 4 February 2014

Haa!, ini ndakarwadziwa mupurisa achiramba kubhadhara kombi yaibva Chitungwiza ichienda city. Vanhu ava havafanirwi kubhadhara here. Handiti vanopihwa transport allowance here?

Marwadzo chaiwo - 5 February 2014

demolitions must stop,someone is trying to provoke an uprising against the ruling party for selfish gain,do you remember one Professor who once said the best way to destroy ZANU PF is from within,be careful

Chikwama - 12 February 2014

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