New provisions dilute Land Commission’s effectiveness

February 1, 2013 at 8:38 pm Leave a comment

http://www.theindependent.co.zw/

THE Zimbabwe Republic Police command has embarked on a full-scale campaign
for Zanu PF ahead of high-stakes elections this year in blatant violation of
the constitution and Global Political Agreement (GPA).

Report by Owen Gagare/Wongai Zhangazha

The move confirms the partisan nature of the country’s security forces.

In recent weeks commanders have been touring police stations countrywide
urging officers, their spouses and everyone residing in the camps to
register for elections and vote Zanu PF.

A top police officer in Harare said senior officers were following orders
given by Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri in December.

On Tuesday Chihuri addressed wives of senior police officers in Selous and
urged them to vote for Zanu PF. He told the wives, gathered for a Kuyedza
Women’s Club leadership workshop, that they should be patriotic and
demonstrate their love for their country by returning Zanu PF to power.

Kuyedza Women’s Clubs run income-generating projects for female police
officers and spouses of policemen and are led by female senior officers and
wives of senior officers.

Some of the club’s leaders have been distributing Zanu PF membership cards
to the women they lead.

Taking a cue from Chihuri, who has openly declared his loyalty to Zanu PF,
several senior officers have hit the campaign trail for Zanu PF while others
have become immersed in the party’s factional fights.

Officer commanding Harare Province, Senior Assistant Commissioner Clement
Munoriyarwa, for example, has been urging police officers and their
dependants to “vote wisely”.

Two weeks ago he addressed officers, their spouses and dependants at
Chitungwiza Police Station, advising them to register and vote.

“He was persuasive rather than intimidatory,” said a policewoman who
attended the meeting.

“If there was any intimidation it was subtle unlike in 2008 when we were
told there would be war if Zanu PF lost the elections. He explained that the
next election would be crucial and urged all of us to vote because each vote
is important.

“He also emphasised the need for those with children to ensure that they
register as voters. He said the younger generation should be educated so
that they vote wisely and said it was the responsibility of parents to do
so.”

In Mashonaland East Assistant Commissioner Everisto Pfumvuti, believed to be
harbouring political ambitions, has been mentioned in Zanu PF factional
fights and has teamed up with a war veteran, Jephat Chinake, in
decampaigning Mutoko South legislator Olivia Muchena — also Women’s Affairs
minister.

Pfumvuti has ordered all police officers based at Mutoko Police Station to
register for elections and show their registration slips to the Officer in
Charge as evidence of registration.

Zanu PF Mashonaland East chairman Ray Kaukonde confirmed Pfumvuti has been
attending party meetings but said he did not believe he was decampaigning
Muchena because “he is a cadre”.

Kaukonde said Pfumvuti has been interested in the Mutoko South seat for a
while but had been told it was reserved for a woman.

ZRP commanders have also been campaigning for Zanu PF in other provinces,
contravening the GPA and constitution which state they should be impartial
and professional.

Article X111 of the GPA says: “State organs and institutions do not belong
to any political party and should be impartial in the discharge of their
duties”.

The same article also states that “all state organs and institutions should
strictly observe the principles of the rule of law and remain non-partisan
and impartial.”

The police and other security forces have frequently taken an active role in
politics and have often been accused of aiding Zanu PF through disrupting
rallies and political gatherings organised by the MDC formations, as well as
arresting and intimidating political players and members of civil society.

In the June 2008 presidential election runoff police commanders joined their
counterparts from the military in a countrywide campaign where they
addressed rallies and meetings promising war in the event that Mugabe lost
the runoff.

Junior members of the force were also forced to register for polls and voted
under the watchful eye of senior officers.

The stance taken by the police has given rise to fears that the police may
once again curtail free political activity in the run up to the elections
and fail to guarantee free political activity or guarantee freedom of
assembly and association.

Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said she had no
knowledge of police commanders campaigning for Zanu PF.

Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: .

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