POLICE ATTACKS ON MAZOWE FAMILIES

MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE

Press Statement
Harare, Zimbabwe, January 15, 2015.

POLICE ATTACKS ON MAZOWE FAMILIES

The Movement for Democratic Change is shocked and saddened by the
brutal attack by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) on 200 families
who were illegally evicted from Arnold (Manzou) farm in Mazowe to make
way for first lady Grace Mugabe.
We are also horrified by the ongoing instability in that region. This
is being fuelled by the refusal by state authorities to honour
Monday’s High Court judgement asserting the rights of the farmers not
to be evicted and not to have their houses destroyed.

There is no justification for the outrageous and heavy-handed actions
of the police in a supposedly democratic Zimbabwe. The state
authorities should have used legal and more humane methods to move
those families out of the designated area.
We strongly deplore this unjust Zanu PF system where the ends justify
the means, in this case the use of violence and brute force to evict
peaceful citizens.
We condemn the use of violence and random force by the state to
achieve its objectives. We also condemn the wilful violation of court
orders by the police who, ironically, are supposed to be upholding and
enforcing them.

The police can not claim ignorance of the law. Furthermore, they are
trained in the law and can not claim that evicting people and
demolishing their homes without court orders is a lawful act by any
stretch of the imagination.
It is fairly obvious to the MDC, Zimbabweans and all rational people
that instructions were given by someone in the ZRP command to violate
the law with impunity. We urge the government and the relevant
committee of parliament to investigate, track down and hold personally
responsible those who ordered law enforcement agents to break the law
and venerate the Constitution. Such behaviour by the police is
shameful and inhumane.

The High Court ruled on Monday January 12 2015 that it is unlawful to
evict the Arnold farm occupants and destroy their homes. That was a
bold and symbolic statement by the judiciary, which the ZRP should
have complied with.

The MDC urges the state to refrain from violence and intimidation, and
to treat people with the humanity they deserve. We call for
professional and non-partisan policing. We call for accountability and
transparency. We demand respect for the constitutional rights of
citizens and respect for rules and regulations by police officers. We
demand a police force that respects and protects the dignity of all
Zimbabweans. We also demand an overhaul of the ZRP and establishment
of a police service that will protect the lives and assets of the
people of Zimbabwe.
Together we will complete the change.
Thank you.

Issued by Honourable Senator Lilian Timveos, National Secretary and
Spokesperson for Domestic Affairs.

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