Community Development Legal and Parliamentary Affiars

Human rights activists blast security services undemocratic tendencies

Human rights

By Tatenda Mujeyi

Human Rights activists affiliated with the Human Rights NGO Forum have blasted the security services systems for undemocratic tendencies at the launch of a Anti- impunity Report in Harare today.

The report explored how challenges are faced in line with human rights abuse especially by the state security agents.

The report was conducted through qualitative and quantitative data techniques that mainly included interviews and the analytical desk study approach.

“We employed the desk study approach and interviews. It is important to realise that the interviews with police officers at times exposed information that was central to the report bearing critical information in understanding the circumstances surrounding the report’s focal areas,” said Wilbert Mandinde, the Human Rights NGO Forum Senior Projects Lawyer.

The report explored how existent legislation was being used to the advantage of the state and security system, in turn depriving citizenry full guarantee of their human rights.

“The legislative environment is restrictive and works to the advantage of the security system, POSA is used to constantly stifle the voices of the people and temper with evidence as the landscape remains volatile and characteristic of the impunity perpetuation by the state. Human Rights NGO Forum Senior Projects lawyer Wilbert Mandinde said.

“The legislative system is not fair, it is characteristic of phrases that are used to criminalise the innocent, the justice system is not accountable and the constant charging of activists under the vogue criminal abuse of office charge,” Godfrey Mupanga, founding member of the Public Interest Unit of the Human Rights NGO Forum also concurred.

The session exposed the compensatory challenges that affected parties usually experience as government has a perennial shortage in compensating victims.

“I currently have not been paid fully for the compensation despite their commitment to pay, considering that the damages are now life long and imply to changes in daily operational conditions I have to experience following this disability I have succumbed to,” Mr Trevor Simbanegavi a victim of police wrongful arrest and shooting said.

The session also explored the possible recommendations through which the experienced challenges can be addressed.

“The landscape remains volatile, since independence the state has constantly been entangled in such circumstances and to redress this we call for attitudinal shifts from government and state security services. Reparation and compensation are also imperative considerations that government still underscores as well as a judicial system revamp that could facilitate the necessary changes.

Government however remains committed to the better operations of the security services sector as established through the Commission of inquiry that followed the January shootings.

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Byron Adonis Mutingwende