Amnesty slams Zanu (PF), cops, Chipangano

Amnesty International’s annual report, published today, strongly criticises Zanu (PF) and the police for failing to uphold basic human rights.

The report also highlights Zanu (PF)’s continued resistance to the security sector and media reforms agreed under the 2008 Global Political Agreement. It notes that the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe awarded commercial broadcasting licenses solely to state-run or Zanu-friendly media.

The report condemns the close relationship between Zanu (PF) and the police, citing several instances of Zanu (PF) supporters being allowed to perpetrate political violence against MDC-T supporters in full view of police officers.

“Chipangano, a gang linked to Zanu (PF), committed human rights abuses with total impunity,” the report says.

The police are rebuked for using “the Public Order and Security Act to undermine the political activities of the two MDC parties”. Throughout the year the police “continued to interfere with their activities, blocking meetings or failing to act when Zanu(PF) supporters attempted to disrupt meetings,” says the report.

Politically motivated arrests of citizens and MDC ministers, such as Minister of Energy and Power Development Elton Mangoma, continued, with some spending months in custody over trumped up charges.

Amnesty cites several incidents of human rights defenders being arbitrarily arrested and tortured while in detention. In one, 45 activists were tortured, denied access to legal or medical aid, and charged with treason for discussing the implications of the Arab Spring. The treason charges were eventually replaced with charges of “conspiracy to commit violence or alternatively inciting public violence or participating in a gathering with intent to promote public violence, breaches of peace and bigotry”.

The report also finds that “the government failed to provide education for thousands of children affected by the 2005 mass forced evictions, known as Operation Murambatsvina.”

“More than six years after the forced evictions, most victims have been driven deeper into poverty because of the government’s failure to find effective remedies,” Amnesty observes.

Amnesty is also worried about the continued persecution of Zimbabweans based on their sexual orientation and the state media’s attempts to “incite hatred against homosexuals”.

The 400-page report details the state of human rights in 155 countries and contains a lengthy section on Africa. This year’s report focuses on the impact of protests across the globe. In most African countries protests have seen governments clampdown on freedom of expression and brutally repress dissent causing horrific human rights violations. Amnesty is calling on Africa’s leaders to put the interests of their people before power and profit.

Post published in: News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *