via Opposition parties petition Chihuri – NewsDay November 4, 2015
OPPOSITION political parties yesterday demanded to meet Commissioner-General of Police Augustine Chihuri following last weekend’s politically-motivated violence that rocked the city.
BY MOSES MATENGA
The parties said they feared if the incident was not dealt with promptly, the country would slide back to the 2008 chaos.
In a letter addressed to Chihuri and signed by seven opposition parties at the instigation of their leaders that includes MDC-T, People First, National Constitutional Assembly, Transform Zimbabwe, People’s Democratic Party Zanu Ndonga, FreeZim Congress and African Democratic Party, the parties demanded that the meeting takes place immediately (yesterday).
The meeting however, was set to be rescheduled as the political parties only managed to deliver the letter to Police General Headquarters by 11:25am. It was not immediately established whether the meeting had been rescheduled.
“We write at the instance of our leaders of the undersigned political parties. It is our belief that the constitutional mandate of the police is to maintain law and order and ensure that there is free political activity in the country,” the letter read in part.
“However, recent developments seem to suggest the police has reneged on their obligations to maintain law and order and facilitate peaceful political activity.”
The parties cited the ugly scenes in Hopley Farm and Harare South, where Zanu PF and MDC-T youths clashed.
“As an example of is the development in the Harare South constituency, on Sunday November 1. One of the opposition political parties, the MDC-T booked its rally at Kazembe Primary School in Harare South. The police were duly notified and they cleared this rally in writing,” the parties said.
“However, the Zanu PF members went to the rally venue armed with all sorts of rudimentary weapons including bows and arrows and attacked MDC-T members at the rally.
“The fear of our leaders is that if the police do not stamp their authority and protect lawful gatherings, Zimbabwe could slide back to 2008 scenario.
“We, therefore, request an urgent meeting with you to discuss these concerns by tomorrow November 3, 2015 at a venue of your choice.”
Several people were injured as youths from rival parties traded blows in Hopley.
Meanwhile the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) said it was appalled by the spate of political violence which has erupted in various parts of the country in the past few weeks; and notes with grave concern the lack of followup by relevant authorities.
“We condemn in the strongest terms the violent clashes between Zanu-PF and MDC-T at Hopley Farm in Harare South in the past few days and call on both parties to rein in supporters who participate in the violence,” ZPP said.
“We also strongly condemn the violent intra-party altercation in Zanu-PF in Kadoma and other areas two weeks ago which saw some victims injured and hospitalised. We are concerned with police brutality which occurred in Rusape and ended up with the bloody battering by police of an MDC-T member, David Tekeshe, in an incident which also saw arrest of three journalists – Sydney Saize, Bernard Chiketo and Kenneth Nyangani last week.”