THE Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC)has recommended that Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri investigate human rights violations that occurred during the Hurungwe West by-elections in June.
In a report containing findings pursuant to an investigation undertaken after Temba Mliswa lodged complaints, the ZHRC said it was imperative for the police to instigate and arrest perpetrators of the said violence.
Mliswa contested the Hurungwe West seat as an independent candidate.
Results of the June 10 poll won by Zanu PF’s Keith Guzah were disputed by Mliswa who approached the Electoral Court to reverse the outcome.
Mliswa, the former Mashonaland West Zanu PF chairman, complained that he and his supporters were victimised by police details and Zanu PF officials.
He further alleged traditional leaders had behaved in a partisan manner, and were involved in vote-buying through
food donations, campaign posters being defaced and his farm being invaded.
“It is recommended that the Commissioner-General of Police should immediately investigate the human rights violations which occurred in Hurungwe West constituency and ensure that all the perpetrators of violence face the full wrath of the law,” ZHRC said.
ZHRC said in terms of Section 243 (1) (h) of the Constitution, it was empowered to direct the Police Commissioner-General to investigate cases of human rights violations.
“ZHRC recommends that the Police Services Commission (PSC) improves the training of police o cers in investigating and handling human rights and politically motivated cases.
“The PSC should ensure that, in their functions, police officers act in a non-partisan manner, should not further the interests of any political party or cause, and should not prejudice the lawful interests of any political
party or cause, and should not violate the fundamental rights or freedoms of any person as enshrined in Section 208 (2) of the Constitution,” the human rights body said.
Turning to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, the ZHRC said the electoral body ought to have ensured the e cient, free, fair and proper transparent conducting of Hurungwe West by-elections.
Several organisations and opposition parties have always condemned the electoral processes in Zimbabwe, claiming they were flawed and always in favour of Zanu PF.