State brutality unacceptable

HARARE - Among the plethora of issues that qualify Zimbabwe to be a full-bloodied failed, banana republic are the grand corruption by Zanu PF bigwigs, the country’s dying economy that has wreaked so much havoc among the poor, and the escalating thuggery by the State against citizens.

Just in case there are some among us who still doubt this incontrovertible truth, the Daily News carried a heart-rending story in its recent edition in which a number of citizens reported being treated in the most barbaric and despicable manner by their own government.

The same report said political violence in the country had increased dramatically this year, with record levels of assault, abduction and torture of ordinary Zimbabweans recorded as opposition to President Robert Mugabe’s 36-year misrule has escalated.

The New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) yesterday released horrific details of rights defenders and pro-democracy activists tortured by police and intelligence operatives during recent anti-government protests.

“Acts of torture that Human Rights Watch has documented include severe beatings that involve victims being punched, kicked, and struck with batons; beatings on the soles of the feet; repeated banging of detainees’ heads against walls; and the shackling of detainees in painful positions,” Human Rights Watch notes in its submissions to the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in Geneva, Switzerland.

What is even more worrying is that government tried to downplay its flagrant violations of human rights by trying to paint a rosy picture of the rights situation in Zimbabwe.

Last week, the Counselling Services Unit (CSU) also presented worrying statistics of surging violence which it said was overwhelmingly perpetrated by the State’s security forces — including the police, military and the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO).

This is unacceptable and it’s time that Zimbabweans united to say NO to this thuggery and barbarism by the very same people whose job it is to protect us.

For many years, Mugabe and Zanu PF have acted with impunity — routinely harassing ordinary citizens and opposition supporters for expressing their disquiet over the way they have been governing.

Mugabe has failed to lead his government in respecting human rights fully knowing that Zimbabweans bear many scars from the bitter Rhodesian bush war, Gukurahundi and the post 2008 election violence.

There is still trauma and bitterness among the societies which experienced these acts.

So why promote State thuggery?

Comments (1)

Fellow citizens note what is happening in SA right now - people are standing up and rejecting the corruption and unfair treatment going on in SA and within the ANC. Brave people like Thuli Madonsela, Pravin Gordhan have exposed the rot going on and are putting a stop to it. Why can't we do the same in this country? This form of brutality that we are experiencing is just not acceptable in today's world. We beg the Church groups, Human Rights Movements to unite and demand UN intervention in our country right now.

Mbewa - 4 November 2016

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