Zanu PF Activists disrupt World Health Day celebrations in Epworth

Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission chairperson, Commissioner Elasto Hilarious Mugwadi, on Friday April 7, 2017, came face to face with ZANU PF’s bully behavior when the ruling party’s supporters disrupted World Health Day commemorations in Epworth, Harare.

The youth training centres collapsed some years ago – having become notorious for churning out Zanu (PF) militia accused of persecuting political rivals.

The march, running under the theme “Enhance Access to WASH Infrastructure: Enhance the Health and Wellbeing of Epworth Events”, had been organised by the Epworth Residents Development Association (ERDA) and the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights.  The two organisations had invited Commissioner Mugwadi as guest of honour.

Two Zanu PF supporters who were later joined by other party activists clad in the ruling party’s T-shirts which were emblazoned with President Robert Mugabe’s face on the front, ordered ERDA director Promise Makaka to wrap up the programme and tell everyone present at the function to vacate the open space since it was being held on land they claimed was theirs. Apparently, the Crisis Report established that the land they claim is theirs, is council land used for events.

The two, together with two men who claimed they were Zanu PF ward chairpersons for Epworth Constituency, said they had not been informed that a health event would be held on their land. The activists claimed that despite the march being cleared by the police, they had the final say in deciding events that can be held in Epworth.

Speaking to the Crisis Report ZADHR Director, Mr Calvin Kobiri said; “this event was cleared by police, the law does not require us to seek clearance from political parties to hold our activities. As you can see police are here to provide security and escort

“These are issues that we have been taking to the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission as violations to the constitution that urgent redress and today Commissioner Mugwadi experienced what we have been complaining about,” said Fambirai

The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition Spokesperson, Mr Dumisani Nkomo said that it is regrettable that ZANU PF continues to use its structures to deny citizens their constitutional rights, and this paints a gloomy picture for civil society organisations undertaking humanitarian and human rights programmes.

‘We continue to call for political reforms that will ensure the adherence of all citizens to the dictates of the constitution and when our member organisations have their meetings disrupted we become worried,’ said Nkomo

When contacted for comment the police refused to speak on the matter and left the venue.

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