PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s reengagement drive suffered a heavy knock on Friday after his ‘targeted’ constituents gave his administration a chilling thumbs down on its violent crackdown on protestors in Harare.
By Marshall Bwanya
Armed police officers beat up and shot teargas canisters into crowds of civil protestors, injuring hundreds in a chaotic crackdown that is still ongoing.
The European Union (EU), UK and international human rights defender Amnesty International(AI) condemned his government’s brutal clampdown of the opposition’s march.
“Very worrying images from Harare CBD today, where the police heavy handedly dispersed crowds of peaceful demonstrations.
“We call for restraint and proportionality, and the for respect for the Constitutional right for peaceful protest,” wrote EU on its official Twitter handle.
The EU seemed to have given ZANU PF a second chance after the fall of ex-leader Robert Mugabe but Mnangagwa has failed to honour basic human rights.
A combined 18 unarmed civilians were gunned down on 1 August last year and in January this year.
Amnesty International deputy regional director for Southern Africa Muleya Mwananyanda said that the security forces should be held accountable for the inhuman brutal conduct on protestors.
“The scenes in Harare today demonstrate just how far authorities will go to repress dissent, Baton-wielding police unleashed a brutal assault on protestors, who gathered to protest the socio-economic conditions which are suffering to so many in Zimbabwe.
“The Zimbabwe authorities should know that the world is watching. The authorities must end the escalating crackdown on dissent and respect, protect and fulfil the rights of freedom of expression and assembly,” said Mwanyanda.
Mwanyanda reiterated that Amnesty International was calling for a prompt, impartial and effective Investigation by the authorities.
The United Kingdom, which was quick to support Mnangagwa’s ascent, eager to see the back of Mugabe also condemned the police brutality.
The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum said by midday they documented 40 arrests with the majority of the detained persons complaining of torture at the hands of police.
A total of 12 people have been treated by medical doctors following assaults and torture at the hands of the police.
By end of day Harare city center was clear with unconfirmed reports that security agents were moving into high density suburbs.