NATIONAL People’s Party (NPP) leader Joice Mujuru yesterday visited victims of police shooting, where she lambasted the Zimbabwe Republic Police over its heavy-handedness, which she said had created unnecessary tension ahead of this year’s general elections.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
Two people were shot dead and several others injured in Harare last week during disturbances involving vendors and the police.
Police claimed the people were shot in self-defence but a cross section of society condemned their action as sheer negligence and unprofessionalism in managing disturbances.
In an interview with NewsDay yesterday at Avenues Clinic, where she was visiting four of the victims, Mujuru accused the ZRP of creating tension in the country ahead of the harmonised elections.
“We are saying elections need to be approached in a peaceful atmosphere because with this we can say we will have free and fair elections because these are people who are being intimidated and shot at and you can’t expect anything good to come out of it,” she said.
Mujuru said the conduct by police was unacceptable.
During President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s inauguration in November last year, people expressed a vote of no confidence in the ZRP. This resulted in a restructuring that saw the dismissal of several top cops. In turn the police have begged for public confidence and promised to reform.
“This conduct is intolerable. We don’t accept such an attitude. We don’t accept the police that we expect to give us security to be the enemies that you must run away from. The police have to be brought to book, they have to be answerable. This is not something that we can leave to just lie low,” Mujuru said.
“I have spoken to the guys (the victims) and they were not even anywhere close to the problems. They even didn’t know what was happening (during the disturbances) and they were actually caught in cross fire. The police did not even deal with the people they were fighting with on that particular day. Why fight passers-by, why shoot passers-by and this is the problem.”
Mujuru said she will secure lawyers to fight for justice of police’s brutality. She said vendors and touts needed to be treated with respect, as some of them are forced by circumstances such as unemployment to sell wares on the streets.
Joseph Apitala (16), whose mother Anatoria Kaseke, a Harare vendor who was shot dead by the police, said his family wanted to be paid compensation.
“Our mother was the breadwinner with minor children too; we feel there must be compensation. We want money for school fees, upkeep and other expenses. Her last born is three years now and we have lost the pillar of the family,” Apitala said.
Vendors’ union leader Sten Zvorwadza said they will leave no stone unturned to have justice served. He vowed to fight for the compensation of the victims.