security forces’ joint operation in high -density suburbs

The MDC has written to the defence forces chief and the police commissioner complaining about the security forces' joint operation in high -density suburbs. A local residents association has also called for them to restrain the police and soldiers, who are beating up innocent residents.

The Combined Harare Residents Association said it had received reports of escalating State-sponsored post-election violence, with residents in most wards complaining of beatings by the uniformed forces.

“Ten of our members have died, four of them in the last few days, due to political violence perpetrated by ruling party supporters in the aftermath of the elections,” said MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa.

“History is replete with evidence that violence as an instrument of political coercion is ineffective and counter-productive,” said CHRA’s Israel Mabhoho.

A police spokesman said people who felt they had been wronged or unfairly treated during the operation should report to the police. The police appeared to exonerate the army on allegations of high-handedness, saying the police were fully responsible for the operation.

“All operations in Harare and elsewhere are police operations,” he said. “Members of the military or police committing any offences should be reported at the nearest police station. They must not harass anyone but suppress lawlessness.”

People are convinced the beatings are being carried out as punishment for voting overwhelmingly for the MDC in last month’s controversial election. The MDC won all but one seat in Harare and Chitungwiza.  

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