By Staff Reporter
Harare, July 14, 2016 – THE EU embassy has condemned the brutal attack on protestors by Zimbabwean police, adding this was a violation of their constitutional rights.
In a statement, the EU further called on Zimbabweans not happy with the current economic situation in the country to shun violence.
The past two weeks have seen heightened tensions in Zimbabwe as ordinary Zimbabweans have taken to the streets to protest massive poverty and poor governance under the Zanu PF led government.
A recent government ban on the importation of certain products by government ignited fierce protests in Beitbridge which forced the temporary closure of southern Africa’s busiest border post.
Equally, commuter transport crews turned the heat on the authorities days later protesting continued harassment by police and endless roadblocks.
More demonstrations in Bulawayo also saw police move in.
In all these instances, shocking images of anti-riot police bashing protestors have gone viral on social media, prompting calls for police to observe citizens’ rights to demonstrate.
The EU called on the state to respect human rights.
“The EU delegation wishes to wishes to express its concern at reports of some incidents of serious violence and human rights abuses taking place during the aftermath of recent protests in a number of urban centres across the country,” said EU in a statement.
“The EU calls on all parties to respect the right to demonstrate peacefully, as enshrined within section 59 of the Zimbabwean constitution.
“It is the responsibility of government to ensure such protests are policed responsibly, that arrested persons are treated in accordance with section 50 of the constitution, and that those responsible for unlawful violence face justice.”
Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo has denied police brutality saying police were empowered to use minimum force by law to deal with those breaking the country’s laws.
“It’s a victim who is complaining that the police used maximum force, and you (journalists), intelligent as you are, believe the side of the victim.
“If there is evidence of any excess use of power, show me and I will deal with it quickly. Sometimes enough is not enough for a person to whom enough is too little,” Chombo said at a press briefing on Tuesday.