Police brutality not the answer


Friday the 13th is considered to be a very unlucky day. This superstition, which has been cemented by popular fiction in the form of novels and movies, can be traced back to the year 1307 when an order of knights known as the Knights Templar were arrested, tortured and murdered in Europe.

Here in Zimbabwe, if one was to witness what occurred in Harare’s central business district on Friday last week, one might be inclined to believe that Friday the 13th is indeed a day on which an unimaginable horrific event is bound to take place.

On that fateful day, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) unleashed the floodgates of violence on me and countless other defenceless Zinasu student activists.

Instead of allowing us to peacefully march to Parliament Building, where we sought to drop our petition, as should happen in a truly democratic country, baton wielding riot police descended upon us as if we were a band of terrorists carrying grenade launchers and AK-47s when all we had in our hands were placards.

Zimbabwe’s post-independence violence, while largely perpetrated at political party level, has also seen the hand of the state security agents playing a role,

Yet, the concerns that led us to demonstrate are genuine. The living conditions at most tertiary institutions are deplorable and the fees are too high. Higher and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo, who declared us persona non grata a long time ago, has repeatedly refused to meet with us.

What then are we to do, but exercise our right to demonstrate which is guaranteed by the Constitution?

In the last couple of weeks, the ZRP has become increasingly violent against citizens. In the same week it crushed our peaceful demonstration with unbelievably callous heavy handedness, it also dished out the sour meal of police brutality to vendors and opposition party activists.

In our ill-fated march to Parliament, close to 20 student activists, the majority of us female, were seriously injured. Among the injured was a female student activist living with a disability which leads one to wonder: under all that protective gear anti-riot police officers wear, is there a normal human being with a heart?

This recent increase in police brutality is a cause for concern.

What the government should know is that, no one wants to demonstrate. We would all rather be going about our business but we can’t because the situation demands that we call certain things to the attention of a nonchalant government through street action.

Instead of trying to beat people into submission, the government should address whatever it is that is forcing people to go on the streets.

Police brutality is not the answer.

lJoanna Mamombe is Zinasu gender secretary. Views expressed in this article are personal.


  1. my Aunty Brianna just got a great Lexus IS F Sedan just by some parttime working online with a macbook…

  2. The police are their to suppress opposition.they are their silence voices of reasoning.they want to keep the status quo of the social classes in society.divergent thoughts are a threat to them.time wl tell enough is enough.

  3. Madzibaba Ishmael vakatiparira. From the day Ishmael gave the police a good hiding, mapurisa vava nehasha dzisingaite. Honai vana vedu vechikoro vorakashwa.

  4. Ask A. G. O Mutambara. He jumped from fourth floor while fleeing away from riot during his days at U.Z. Its not walk in e park sister. joining it means u declaring u nt a cry baby anymore so dont cry. Do u really think the govern!ent will take u seriously after they failed to do so in the streets. Unfortunately any zimbabwean issues are always viewed in a political perspective so u will face political response.

  5. I dont understand why you are complaining…….im sure being a reasonable person who uses rational processes of thinking,you knew the logical outcome of you and ur pals staging an unauthorised and provocative demonstration…..and if the police hadnt reacted in the manner in which they did you would have been dissappointed….the whole purpose of this so-called demonstration was to bring attention onto urself and ur collegues…..apa look nw u get to write an article in the Newsday

  6. True, 13 is a bad luck number. The problem with us Zimbabweans is we are not united. There were only 20 students protesting, where were the other thousands? Look at SA, the people there are united and when they want something they will definitely get it.

  7. Its an illegal and unpopular gvt.it will collapse on its own.its evil members are living in constant fear of the inevitable mass uprising.its come soon!!!!

  8. Usada kunyepera kuzungaira musikana, You knew what you wanted and you got it, ikozvino waakuwana coverage and possibly a bit of extra cash. After the MDC-T declared that it would incite street protests, dont be surprised if all your demonstations are deemed regime change protests. if its too hot for you get out of the kitchen

  9. I don’t understand how anyone can actually justify the violent behavior by these people.so munhu onzi ramba uchitambura ukataura worohwa?this is democracy in the country now,,shame on you all who support this brutality

  10. shumba and moyo, u guys are irrational i see. How can u justify this illegal action by the police? instead of supporting the defenseless victims u support this authoritarian regime wc has subjected us all to absolute poverty..kkkk muri mazidofo chaiwooooo

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