BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA
AT least 120 people were harassed and intimidated by the police officers while they were enforcing COVID-19 regulations during the festive season, the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) said yesterday.
ZPP also told NewsDay that 20 people were assaulted by the police in the month of December alone, while five were detained unlawfully.
In a statement yesterday, ZPP said on New Year’s Eve, police officers on patrol in Mbare unleashed dogs on citizens, accusing them of violating the 9pm to 6am curfew, among other COVID-19 regulations.
Pictures that were published by the ZPP yesterday showed that one of the victims sustained injuries on the legs.
“We recorded five cases of unlawful detention, at least 120 cases of harassment and intimidation, and 20 cases of assault in the month of December alone,” ZPP said.
“This is largely attributable to the actions of the police while enforcing the COVID-19 regulations during the Christmas and New Year holidays. However, assault, harassment and intimidation constitute infringement of human rights that are enshrined in the
But national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said he was yet to check on the alleged cases.
“The ZPP has not yet lodged any complaint with us with regards to such alleged violations by the police. What proof do they have to show that, indeed, it was the police that perpetrated the violations?” he said.
“Some members of the public can make false reports to such organisations just to raise unnecessary alarm and tarnish the image of the police.”
Previous reports by ZPP show that for the past two years, police have led human rights violations in the country, alongside the ruling Zanu PF party.
Rights defenders have expressed concern over continued human rights violations by the police while enforcing COVID-19 regulations.
- Follow Miriam on Twitter @FloMangwaya