Bad start of the year – politically-motivated violence by army, police, state security

January 2007 started on a bad note in terms of politically-motivated violence and general abuse of state power by the army, police and state security agents.

or example, it is alleged that in January 2007 state security agents guarding diamond fields in Manicaland unleashed a reign of terror, shooting and assaulting villagers arrested for illegal diamond mining in the area. On 28 January, it is alleged that one, Modern Chibururu, was shot by the police near Marange for illegal diamond mining. According to one press report, the police surrounded the mine – field and threw a search light over the area before spraying bullets on over 30 illegal miners.

The ZRP continues to use the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) extensively on members of the NCA who are advocating for a new constitution. On 25 January the rights of approximately 500 NCA members to freedom of expression and assembly were infringed when the police descended on their demonstration in central Harare and dispersed them by assaulting them using baton sticks, open fists, booted feet and anything at their disposal.

In Shurugwi, on 8 January, the Zimbabwe Republic Police again exhibited a clear lack of understanding of the powers accorded to them by POSA by purpotedly denying permission to a group of women who wanted to demonstrate.

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