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No to Police State… as Zimbabwe braces for more demonstrations

By Daniel Chigundu
People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has called on regional and international bodies to intervene in Zimbabwe arguing that it is slowly degenerating into a police state.
In a statement, PDP national spokesperson Jacob Mafume cited various alleged cases of police brutality on protestors as evidence that lives might be lost.
“The successive police brutality in Harare portray that Zimbabwe is now a police state and that the Zanu PF government wants to declare war on citizens and a state of emergency.
“The brutality exhibited by the police over the past few days show that the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has failed to transform itself from a vicious colonial force over 36 years after independence.
“This brutality shows that Zanu PF wants Zimbabwe to be a police state and declare a state of emergency.
“The horrifying images of the police attacking innocent citizens in central Harare last Wednesday and Friday, is an indication that we now have a police state contrary to the country’s Constitution,” he said.
Police have dealt brutally with the citizens who are protesting against economic hardships and bad governance, that even Professor Jonathan Moyo had to take to social media platform Twitter to condemn their brutality.
Just last week police heavily armed with water cannons, teargas canisters and baton sticks disrupted a peaceful protest organised under the banner of NERA, which had been sanctioned by a High Court order.
And as if that was not enough, the police was at it again blocking people from attending bail hearing at Rotten Row Magistrate Court, for 75 people who had been arrested last Friday in central Harare.
Mafume said his party is against the declaration of the state of emergency and violent threats by police and some Zanu PF youths on people who are exercising their constitutional rights.
“As the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), we strongly condemn this gross abuse of human rights violations by the state and non-state agents.
We also denounce the use of threats of violence by Zanu PF youths who were on Sunday in the presence of the police and yet no action was taken.
“The state media has also joined in issuing threats of violence and peddling falsehoods by accusing opposition parties of training terrorist.
It is clear that the Zanu PF government has panicked and will try to use all evil acts including shedding of innocent blood as it tries to suppress the citizens’ democratic rights.
“As PDP, we say no the declaration of a state of emergency and we say to a police state.
“As PDP, we therefore urgent the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN), to urgently intervene because there is going to be loss of life in Zimbabwe,” he said.
Kuwadzana East legislator Nelson Chamisa posted on Twitter page “The regime is using tactics from the Rhodesian repression template. Police defy court orders, provoke citizens & incite violence. Teargas has become our new oxygen in Zimbabwe”.
Last week Honourable Chamisa also moved a motion on police brutality which resulted in Zanu PF legislators walking out of Parliament.
The calls for intervention by PDP comes at a time when President Robert Mugabe has left the country for Swaziland to attend a Sadc meeting, and at a time when the nation is bracing for the third version of Shutdown dubbed #Endgame organised by a popular hashtag movement Tajamuka.

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