via MDC opposes police shoot-to-kill call | The Zimbabwean 7 July 2014
The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) shadow Home Affairs Minister, Lilian Timveos, has dismissed recent police calls to give them the right to shoot to kill.
While appearing before Parliament’s Thematic Committee on Human Rights recently, the police deputy director of legal affairs, Assistant Commissioner Takawira Nzombe, said the constitution must be amended to give police the right to kill suspects.
In a statement, Timveos said: “The request by the police that there must be a ‘constitutional amendment’ to give them power to kill suspects for any reason without bringing them to court must…be dismissed with the contempt it deserves.”
She called for the preservation of human life and feared that the police would target Zanu (PF)’s political opponents if their wish were granted, falsely labelling them criminals.
She accused the police of being an appendage of the ruling party and targeting “innocent people for political, personal and other reasons and killing them, only to brand them robbers when they are dead and cannot defend themselves.”
“Shoot-to-kill policies simply lead to cycles of violence and vengeance which Zimbabwe cannot afford or allow,” she said, adding, “Scores of people have been murdered under unclear circumstances in the last few years. This calls for a proper investigation.”
Nzombe had argued that the law in its present form gave more rights to criminals, but Timveos dismissed that, insisting that it treated all citizens equally.
“The law guarantees the right of every suspect to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. Where lethal force is used, a proper judicial enquiry (sic) must be instituted to determine the circumstances around such action and confirm if terminal force was justified,” she said.