Blessings Mashaya 12 March 2018
HARARE – National Vendors Union of Zimbabwe (Navuz) plans to launch a
campaign across the country demanding that government compensates vendors
who fell victim to police brutality.
The union’s executive director, Alphonce Haruzivishe, claimed that there
are vendors who have been maimed, while some lost their valuable wares
during raids by police.
“There are many victims of police brutality, recently, the police killed
vendors and also injured a number of vendors. Some lost their wares. We
are going to hold national wide campaigns demanding the government to
compensate all these people,” he said.
“The powers that be must know that even compensation cannot replace life,
it is valueless. However, compensation will, in a way, remedy or mitigate
in some way the loss of a beloved one through unnatural means,”
Haruzivishe said, adding that “the victims’ dependents need to attain and
realise their full potential as citizens.
Like any parent, the victims had plans for their children and dependents,
but life was cut short through recklessness”.
He said “Navuz calls upon the police to restrain from use of maximum force
that lead to loss of life, live ammunition must be banned from the
streets, they are not war zones. The government in general and the police
in particular must value life. They must be responsible and accountable.
Compensation of the victims of state violence is morally correct in this
Haruzivishe said assistance given by the government at funerals of the
bereaved families was a mockery.
“The spouse, children and dependents were exposed to extreme suffering
through loss of love, affection and support. No compensation can buy
these. However, as Navus, we feel compensation will be in the direction
towards mitigation and remediation of the suffering family members.”
“As Navuz we acknowledge the meagre assistance rendered to the funerals
for the bereaved families. However, we are saying assistance was a
mockery, little and insignificant. It is not enough. Compensation is
preferred, since it is a just way of dealing with the misdemeanour
committed by the police force.”
He further said: “It has suddenly dawned on our membership that the State
is in a perpetual spirit of habitually commuting wanton injustices on our
membership whenever we are carrying on our work and business in the
streets. It is time the government be made accountable to our membership.
“Our members had their goods confiscated without any record on several
occasions; they have been killed and or injured while at work through
State violence. It is time our membership claim and demand compensation
for all these Injustices. We are working on a broad comprehensive
framework as a vendors union to seek redress of these and other injustices
perpetrated on our membership.”