The month of July was again characterised by police brutality on peaceful demonstrators. The ZRP arrested 279 NCA members following a countrywide demonstration against Constitutional Amendment (No 18) Bill1. Close to 170 of the demonstrators, including the NCA National Director, Ernest Mudzengi, were hospitalised after being severely tortured while in police custody at Harare Central Police Station.
On July 7, armed police officers descended on students at the University of Zimbabwe who were gathered for a general meeting that had been called for by the Students Representative Council (SRC). The meeting had been convened in order to discuss the issue of an extra Z$1 million that the University was charging all students living in the halls of residents. Riot police reportedly dispersed the gathering using teargas canisters and randomly beat up students using baton sticks.
In a case that exposes state security agents’ methods of torture, members of the ZRP Homicide Department reportedly assaulted two female victims for not knowing the whereabouts of one of the victim’s sons. The state agents reportedly destroyed household property during the raid. A kitchen chair was used to assault one of the two women. The Forum again reiterates that state security agents must desist from practicing torture under any circumstances.