In his love song, Stand by Me, British singer-songwriter Henry Olusegun Adeola Samuel, known professionally as Seal, sings, “When the night has come, and the land is dark and the moon is the only, light we’ll see, no I won’t, be afraid. Just as long, as you stand…. Just as Seal placed high hopes on his lover, Zimbabweans welcomed the coming in of President Emmerson Mnangagwa into power in 2017 with high hopes that even though it was through a military coup, there was a chance for him to stand by Zimbabweans when it got dark.
Four years later, we write a totally different story, and each November, the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) has recorded an increasing desire by those in power to entrench themselves using all but democratic means. The means include – at the highest and lowest levels – the use of state security agents to suppress dissent, interference in the affairs of the judiciary, weaponization of the law, politicization of aid, state-party conflation, and enactment of Draconian laws like the recently gazetted Private Voluntary Organisations Amendment Bill. It is an all-out assault on the right of citizens to enjoy their constitutionally guaranteed entitlements!
To show this trend, in November 2020, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), Zanu PF, the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA), war veterans, and municipal police, contributed a combined 63.26 percent of all human rights violations. This November, the ZRP, ZNA, Zanu PF, war veterans and other state agents contribute to a staggering nearly 86 percent of all violations and this is a cause for concern considering that the police and the army have a mandate to protect, and not violate citizens. It points to the presence of a police state, where the law and law enforcement agents are used to protect the interests of the few in positions of authority.
Read the full report here (2MB PDF)
Source: Zimbabwe Peace Project