Transform Zimbabwe leader speaks out on harassment

Jacob Ngarivhume, leader of Transform Zimbabwe, has accused police of deliberately misinterpreting the Public Order and Security Act (Posa) to ban legitimate and democratic political activities by Zanu (PF)’s rivals.

Jacob Ngarivhume
Jacob Ngarivhume

Ngarivhume, who was recently arrested and spent three days in police custody for holding ‘unauthorised’ political meetings in Harare and Gweru, said his party, was under continuous surveillance by the police.

“I, and members of Transform Zimbabwe, have been subjected to continuous surveillance, undue interrogation and now arrest. Why?

Because we had the audacity to exercise the very political rights that are guaranteed by Section 67 of our constitution,” he said at a press conference on Friday.

He attributed the harassment and arrest to Transform Zimbabwe’s popularity which he said had unsettled both Zanu (PF) and security agents.

“It is this success that has caught the eye of state security agents, but it must be noted that it is not the role of state security agents to interrogate the political activities of a peaceful and law abiding party.

“The constitutional role of the police is to investigate crimes and protect citizens, not to harass and intimidate them for exercising their democratic rights,” said Ngarivhume.

He accused the police of a deliberate attempt to outlaw his political party.

POSA had its roots in the colonial Law and Order Maintenance Act (Loma) that was used by the Rhodesian government to suppress popular dissent.

Transform Zimbabwe said its members was arrested for holding a structures meeting at its Hatfield offices in Harare and a lawful national executive meeting in Gweru. Ngarivhume urged police to respect the constitution.

“Our constitution is founded on the principles of universal and fundamental human rights without derogation.

“If it is President Robert Mugabe and the ruling party who instruct police to behave unconstitutionally and beyond their powers, then we remind the President to uphold, defend, obey and respect the constitution,” Ngarivhume said.

Mugabe, Ngarivhume said, should uphold his oath of office and ensure that Transform Zimbabwe is allowed to pursue its legitimate and peaceful political activities without hindrance, harassment or threats of prosecution by state security agents.

He assured Zimbabweans that any form of oppression by the state would stiffen their resolve to transform the country into a tolerant democracy.

“We will not falter nor tremble but would remain resolute until we transform Zimbabwe into an open and competitive economy respective of property rights.

“Every citizen would be empowered through job creation regardless of race, gender or political affiliation.”

Transform Zimbabwe was formed in December 2013, following a convention of the 12, 000 member Christian network group, Prayer Network Zimbabwe.

Post published in: News
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