Zim now ‘police state’: Lawyers
Written by Fungi Kwaramba
HARARE – The increasing foothold of police officers in everyday life and
their propensity to use high-handed tactics is raising fresh concerns that
Zimbabwe is fast becoming a “Police State.”
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) said the country is sliding towards
a rule by fear especially in light of the violence that characterised the
beginning of the long awaited trial of 29 MDC activists accused of murdering
a police inspector last year.
“From my perspective, what is happening is the creation of a police state,”
said Andrew Makoni, ZLHR chairman.
“Wherever you go, whatever the activity might be, you must notify the
police. More and more activities are being regulated by the police, whether
it is political or private. Many Zimbabweans are now questioning whether
Zimbabwe has just become a police state.
Beatrice Mtetwa, one of the lawyers representing the 29 suspects described
the police conduct as disturbing and also questioned whether Zimbabwe has
become a police state.
Makoni said that the tentacles of the police have spread to all facets of
“It is cause of concern to have the police interfere in private lives,” he
“The police are interfering even in the vehicle licensing process which must
be carried out by Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara).”
In the High Court on Tuesday, Justice Chinembiri Bhunu heard one of the
state witnesses in the MDC activists’ trial, police driver Judith Mutsikwa,
confirmed that whenever members of the public see police in riot gear they
“It is normal that when police go to public places people run away,” said
Mutsikwa who was speaking under oath.
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