Zimbabwe fast sliding into a police state

Zimbabwe is fast descending into a totalitarian and repressive police state, to a point were even a social gathering leads to high-handed police arrests, a top human rights lawyer has said.

Andrew Makoni, the chairman of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), also accused the government of using the police to control the day-to-day lives of Zimbabweans. He said that the tentacles of the police have spread to all facets of life.

Speaking to the media following recent episodes of police brutality Makoni said that from his perspective, what is happening in Zimbabwe is the creation of a police state.

‘Wherever you go, whatever the activity might be, you must notify the police. More and more activities are being regulated by the police, whether it is political or private. Many Zimbabweans are now questioning whether Zimbabwe has just become a police state,’ Makoni is quoted as saying.

Over the years, Zimbabwe has witnessed a sustained campaign of unprovoked police brutality on innocent and defenceless citizens throughout the country.

Earlier this year, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai warned that Zimbabwe was sliding into a police state after police banned a rally he was due to address.

‘It appears to me that the civilian authority is being undermined and we are fast deteriorating into a police state,’ Tsvangirai said.

Tsvangirai has long accused the country’s security forces of arbitrary arrests, mainly against his supporters. Between January and March this year police have stopped dozens of meetings organised by MDC supporters. SW Radio Africa

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