via NGO calls for arrest of past political violence perpetrators August 4, 2014 by Nqobani Ndlovu
A HUMAN rights organisation has called on the police to investigate and arrest all those fingered for past human rights violations, saying prosecutions were an integral element of transitional justice.
The Heal Zimbabwe Trust (HZT) said this in a statement hailing the recent High Court sentencing of four Zanu PF Kadoma youths to 15 years in prison for the 2008 political violence that claimed the life of an MDC-T supporter.
“The move by the court acts as a clear deterrent factor to would-be perpetrators of [political] violence. It also goes to show that nobody is above the law (and) thus cannot get away with grievous crimes of violence,” HZT said in a statement.
A number of people were killed, maimed and displaced during the political violence that accompanied the 2008 electioneering period.
MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai was forced to pull out of the presidential polls run-off, citing increased political violence against his party’s supporters.
President Robert Mugabe went on to win the polls in a one-man race.
“The HZT encourages the judiciary and the police to investigate other outstanding cases of violations without fear or favour; cases that seem to have been ‘forgotten’ over the years.
“These prosecutions are an integral element of transitional justice that aim to ensure that those responsible for committing crimes, including serious violations of international humanitarian law and gross violations of international human rights law, are tried in accordance with international standards of fair trial and, where appropriate, punished,” the organisation said.
“The move also brings about the need for speed with regards to the full operationalisation of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC). A fully functional NPRC will be able to complement the police and the courts in dealing with past cases of violence and torture so as to attain meaningful justice and healing in the nation.”