The CiZC is disturbed by the police heavy handedness in dealing with the students’ protest at the National University of Science and Technology today in Bulawayo. Police reportedly used tear smoke and water cannons to disperse students before arresting 61 students.
Lecturers at NUST have been on strike for the past 3 weeks demanding a review their working conditions, the students therefore protested calling on the university administration and the government to address the crippling industrial action that has cost students valuable learning time.
As CiZC we are deeply saddened with the ever falling policing standards among the rank and file in the Zimbabwe Police Services. On Friday the police opened fire and murdered two innocent pedestrians in Harare CBD.
The police actions and responses in both Bulawayo and Harare CBD were unwarranted and raise questions on the extent to which law enforcement agents are equipped and willing to uphold the Constitution. The conduct of the police does not auger well in a fragile state that recently underwent a military coup on 15 November 2017 and poses threats to peace and stability in the country.
We remain deeply worried that the brutality is increasing as Zimbabwe enters election season, and raises questions on the extent to which the police are prepared and willing to conduct themselves in a nonpartisan manner and provide citizens with security in ensuring a credible, free and fair election.
In the same vein we call upon the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission to urgently investigate these two unfortunate incidences and perpetrators brought to book. We also call upon the state to urgently reform the police services with a view of restoring public confidence in the institution. It is our view that a professional, non-partisan police services that respects the sanctity of life and protects human rights is a key institution in a progressive democratic order that we envisage.
Source: Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition