By Yvonne Manjengwa
Harare, 12 December 2017
The Heal Zimbabwe Trust (HZT) has registered its dismay at recent reports that claim unpleasant human rights abuse by members of the security services.
HZT notes that continued abuse of citizen’s fundamental human rights and freedoms by members of the security services is not only deplorable but goes against the grain of constitutional provision 208 (d) which stipulates that “security services must not violate the fundamental rights and freedoms of any persons”.
The complaints come after reports of soldiers abusing innocent civilians were reported in many parts of the country with the most recent ones in Kwekwe, Bikita and Harare.
On 10 December 2017 in Bikita, soldiers allegedly fired live ammunition at a bus carrying passengers after the driver failed to stop at a roadblock. Not only that, Last week, vendors were harassed by soldiers who moved around Harare Central Business District (CBD) informing vendors that they were supposed to move out of the CBD.
“Government must also with immediate effect set up an Independent Complaints Mechanism (ICM) as provided for in Section 210 of the constitution. The role of the ICM is to receive and investigate complaints from members of the public about misconduct on the part of members of security services and for remedying any harm caused by such misconduct”.
HZT restates that there is urgent need for soldiers to return to the barracks and allow people to go about their business without fear of being harassed and attacked by members of the uniformed forces.
They further stipulate that these acts of aggression if they continue unattended threaten peace, social cohesion and pose doubt to the conduct of free, fair, peaceful and credible elections in 2018.
Heal Zimbabwe Trust will however write to the President and Minister of Defence seeking an audience with them over the continued sickening human rights violations being perpetuated by the soldiers.