BY TAFADZWA KACHIKO
THE Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC), an umbrella body for local civic society group, plans to host a prayer rally at Africa Unity Square on Friday to raise awareness on increasing human rights violations.
The CiZC said it would submit a petition to the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) and Parliament after the event.
“There has been a recent rise in political tensions in Zimbabwe, which has been accompanied by an upsurge in incidents of political violence at least since the run-up to and holding of the March 26, 2022 by-elections. The situation has also seen the concomitant arrest and persecution of human rights defenders and their unfair treatment by law enforcement agents and the courts,” CiZC said in a concept note seen by NewsDay.
“Yet, despite the existence of Chapter 12 institutions, notably the ZHRC as well as Parliament, these institutions have seemingly continued to give a blind eye to the continued denial of fundamental rights and freedoms.”
A number of human rights and opposition activists, including legislators Job Sikhala (Zengeza West) and Godfrey Sithole (Chitungwiza North) are languishing in remand prison facing various charges.
In a correspondence sent to affiliates on Monday, CiZC chairperson Peter Mutasa said only 400 people will be allowed at the prayer event.
“To ensure that we conform to the conditions set for the prayer rally, we are requesting that you forward 40 people to participate at the rally. A representative from your organisation will also be invited to give a solidarity speech,” Mutasa wrote.
“The coalition has notified the Zimbabwe Republic Police of this event as provided for under section 7 of the Maintenance of Peace and Order Act [Chapter 11:23]. Pursuant to this, the coalition has also held consultations and negotiations with the Zimbabwe Republic Police over this event as provided for under section 8 of the same Act.”
Recently, police banned a planned CiCZ march where its members plan to protest the country’s worsening human rights’ situation.