Saturday, November 02, 2013

(NEWZIMBABWE) MDC-T slams upsurge in ‘police brutality’
09/10/2013 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

COMMENT - More MDC grandstanding to the international gallery. They have nothing to run on other than dragging down the image of their own country, and the livelihoods of their own countrymen. - MrK

THE opposition MDC-T party has expressed concern over what it said was an upsurge in police brutality after cops put down a demonstration by women in Hwange and removed hundreds of families illegally settled in Mashonaland West province.

Police reportedly moved in with batons to put down a demonstration Monday by spouses of Hwange Colliery Company who were protesting the company’s failure to pay salaries for about five months.

Hwange Central MP Brian Tshuma said some of the protesters were badly beaten and sustained injuries while at least two were detained.
In a statement Tuesday the MDC-T said the violent suppression of the demonstration contravened the country’s constitution.

“On Monday, at the Hwange Colliery mine, the police violently disrupted a demonstration staged by over 100 defenceless women who were demanding outstanding salaries and allowances for their spouses who have not been paid for over five months,” the party said.

“These women and some children were viciously assaulted by the police with baton sticks and booted feet. This suppression of the demonstration was in clear violation of Section 58 the new Constitution which clearly provides for freedom to demonstrate.

“This shows that Zanu PF, through the police, is bent on subverting the people’s rights enshrined in the new Constitution.”

A Bulawayo-based pressure group, Bulawayo Agenda, also claimed that the company had threatened to sack the spouses of the protesting women.

“Employees at the colliery have gone for 5 months without receiving their salaries prompting the Monday demonstration which was violently disbanded by police leaving four women hospitalised after sustaining injuries,” the group said.

“The company is also threatening to lay-off all the husbands of the women who participated in the demonstrations.”

Meanwhile, the MDC-T also condemned the removal of hundreds of villagers in parts of Mashonaland West where the party claimed they had been settled in order to vote for Zanu PF in the July 31 elections.

“On Tuesday, hundreds of families were left homeless in Mapinga, Banket in Mashonaland West after a group of vicious and heavily armed police officers destroyed and burnt their huts,” the party said.

“What is clear is that these families who have been at the farm for less than four months were brought in by Zanu PF to vote for its candidates in the 31 July elections.

“Now that the elections are gone these poor families are being discarded like dirt and have been left to face the vagaries of weather.

“Further, the MDC notes with concern the unconstitutional and unlawful farm invasions by Zanu PF officials throughout the country, especially in the Mashonaland Central province.

“We are convinced that what is happening now is a clear sign that once again Zimbabwe is on the brink to returning to lawlessness, brutality and anarchy.

“We call upon all Zimbabweans to be united and stop Zanu PF from bringing Zimbabwe back to retrogression.”

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