POLICE BRUTALITY UNACCEPTABLE: YOUTH ADVOCACY FOR REFORM & DEMOCRACY
The Youth Advocacy for Reform and Democracy (YARD) categorically and in no uncertain terms, deplores and condemns today’s, Saturday 13th February 2016, violent and barbaric assault of its members by officers of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), in a tragic display of police brutality which once again exemplifies that there is no democracy in Zimbabwe.
YARD further challenges the Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri to respect the Constitution and the rights of all peace loving Zimbabweans and to immediately launch a probe into the alarming increase of cases of police brutality being witnessed across the country, with the heavier proliferation being recorded in the country’s capital, Harare.
Of extreme concern and of great disconcertment is today’s, diabolical brutalisation of youthful YARD members who, in conjunction with Zimbabwe Activist Alliance (ZAA) and the Restoration of Human Rights (ROHR) members, engaged in a peaceful, legitimate and legalised march aimed at showing their uncontested and undying love for Zimbabwe, dubbed “Valentine’s March: I Love You Zimbabwe”
The Constitutional right of the peaceful marchers to express their love on this weekend of celebration was brutally violated as they unwittingly found themselves the victims of an unprovoked, violent attack by the police as they were rounded up and indiscriminately beaten. This was despite the fact that intention and notice of the scheduled Valentine’s March was advertised forty-eight (48) hours ahead of the March on radio stations nationwide, subsequent to the organisers having attained the requisite police clearance.
The legitimacy of the Valentine’s March was however disdainfully overlooked by the police personnel who descended upon the peaceful protestors.
This barbaric action by the Zimbabwe Republic Police cannot be allowed to continue with impunity. Democracy dictates that no forward thinking, law abiding citizen can ever allow such a precedence to be established without people taking responsibility and ensuring that the perpetrators are brought to book.
Cde Lynnette Muzvare and Cde Lennon Manyengavana received urgent medical attention after they were inhumanly and violently assaulted by the police officers with no clear outline as to the cause of the assault.
As a result of henious acts such as the aforementioned disruption of the March and similar unmentioned incidents, we as YARD, appeal to the people of Zimbabwe as a whole to support us in ensuring that the Chief of the Zimbabwe Republic Police, in his pursuit of peace, law and order, takes the appropriate action to ensure that the perpetrators of this reprehensible act are severely admonished for their total disregard of the constitution and the constitutional privileges meant to be enjoyed by all Zimbabweans.
Failure of such accountability thereof would not only be a loss for the constitution of the country, but would also clearly prove to Zimbabweans from all walks of life that some of our leaders are indeed above the law.
Zimbabwean citizens are intimidated day and and day out by the unnecessary heavy presence of armoured riot police in the business district of the capital. This continued sight of armoured police details is one of the key contributing factors to the minimal investment catchment capacity of Harare and a sore waste of resources to the already overburdened tax payer.
However, even in the face of such repression, the YOUTH ADVOCACY FOR REFORM AND DEMOCRACY remains resolute in its fight for the creation of apt and competent youth leadership, youth led democracy, accountability in the public sector and unwavering patriotism.
YARD NATIONAL SPOKESPERSON