Ncube slams police brutality

HARARE - The Welshman Ncube-led MDC’s Women Assembly has strongly condemned police brutality on peaceful protesters throughout the country in the past week and the arrest of a number of activists, among them Pastor Evan Mawarire of #ThisFlag movement.

“The violence meted out against protesters by the security forces including women and children which has so far resulted in the death of a small child in Bulawayo is despicable and should be condemned with all the contempt it deserves,” Thamary Chimanzi,  MDC Women Assembly spokesperson said.

Dozens of protesters, including women remain languishing in cells in Bulawayo after they were unable to raise the $80 bail set for each protester.

“Our hearts bleed for these women and we call upon well-wishers to join us in efforts to raise the bail for these innocent people,” Chimanzi said.

“As the women... we consider these acts to be a serious violation of the right to dignity, physical integrity, freedom of expression and peaceful demonstration, indeed a tragedy to democracy.

“These acts are solely aimed at muzzling the people’s voice demanding an end to impunity, corruption and maladministration that has resulted in widespread suffering of the masses.”

She said there is no room in a democracy for a government that fails to at least listen to the people.

“The right to peaceful protest must be guaranteed, and these oppressive practices must not be tolerated against Zimbabweans, who have suffered enough under this cruel regime.

“We must refuse as Zimbabweans to be conditioned into adhering to these intimidation tactics by President (Robert) Mugabe’s failed regime and engage in organised and peaceful protests. When the State closes all avenues for citizens, the only alternative is mass protests.

“The MDC ...believes that lasting change will only result from open and inclusive dialogue based on the premise that the current regime has totally failed to govern this country.

“Switching back to its well-worn tactics of brutality and intimidation tactics on protesters betrays the cowardice and unwillingness of Zanu PF to address the concerns of the people.”

Chimanzi said government continues to let down women in just about every respect.

“... we continue to bear the brunt of all its disastrous policies and anti-people decisions. The women of Zimbabwe deserve a government that puts the interests of the ordinary Zimbabweans ahead of those of a mighty few.

“We encourage ... dialogue in good faith by leadership at all levels including opposition political parties, civil society and churches...”

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