Police attack on tobacco farmers condemned

HARARE - Police should stop using heavy-handed methods when dealing with Zimbabweans who would be peacefully demanding their dues such as was the case with tobacco farmers last week, Heal Zimbabwe (HZT) has said.

In a statement, the peace building organisation said the way police beat up and tear-gassed farmers who were demonstrating at the Tobacco Sales Floors (TSF) after failing to get their money, was uncalled for.

“Heal Zimbabwe strongly condemns the violent attack on tobacco farmers by riot police at Tobacco Sales Floors in Harare on 4 May, 2017. A farmer who spoke on condition of anonymity to Heal Zimbabwe testified that riot police refused to entertain any grievances that the farmers highlighted.

“Heal Zimbabwe notes that the use of brute force to disperse and crush demonstrations is not only barbaric but an infringement of human rights and violates Section 59 of the Zimbabwe Constitution which states that, ‘every person has the right to demonstrate and present a petition’,” the organisation said.

With most farmers now trapped in Harare and failing to get back to their homes due to the biting liquidity crunch, HZT, said it is expected that people would express their displeasure with the authorities.

“The police as custodians of the law must take it as a priority to protect and promote the enjoyment of fundamental human rights and freedoms by citizens such as freedom to petition or demonstrate.

“The government must rather move in to address the current economic problems affecting the country by implementing sound economic policies that enhance and attract investments and promote foreign currency injection,” the organisation said, further imploring the police to use peaceful means in resolving conflicts.

Comments (4)

I am happy that these "farmers" can now see and are exposed to the other side of Zanu PF which is often hidden when they sing praises to Mugabe "Zanu ndeyeropa". They must wake up ... and stop supporting this cruel regime.

Sagitarr - 8 May 2017

I hope some war vets were also amongst the tobacco farmers who were beaten up by the zanu pf banana republic police.When we tell these rural guys that zanu pf is brutal they think we will be making up stories.I wouldn't be surprised that after those unwarranted beatings these idiots will still vote for the mafia party.

Janana wa Bikaz - 8 May 2017

I hope some war vets were also amongst the tobacco farmers who were beaten up by the zanu pf banana republic police.When we tell these rural guys that zanu pf is brutal they think we will be making up stories.I wouldn't be surprised that after those unwarranted beatings these idiots will still vote for the mafia party.

Janana wa Bikaz - 8 May 2017

The gvt must give these police officers farms to grow tobbacco so that they will be part of the demonstration next year during this tobacco selling season.

wisdom - 8 May 2017

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