The recent increase in cases of clash between the police and Zimbabwean citizens is a sign of the failure by the police force to gain respect from the members of the public, a local NGO has said in a well detailed research.
There has been an increase in the number of cases where police are beaten up by members of the public including the recent protests and in public gatherings such as football stadiums.
This has been exacerbated by the police failure to handle crowds during protests resulting in innocent people getting injured as they throw tear gas, intimidate and at times beat up everyone.
Heal Zimbabwe captured these incidents in report and highlighted how there is now ‘lost of respect’ among members of the public.
“Public counter-attacks are a result of lost respect to the Police Force and a revenge opportunity taken by citizens. In this view, any further use of brutal force against citizens could increase backlashes against the law enforcement leading to potential lawlessness, criminality and lack of respect on the part of our national police force,” said Heal Zimbabwe
The NGO lighted that there was need for the government to take measures to prevent the police from using force.
“The government may need to consider preventing the use of force against peaceful and genuine civil disobedience in order to restore the dignity of national institutions and the morality of its citizens towards public officials,” they added.
The NGO said police brutality is dangerous in a democracy and ought to be avoided in the attempt to uphold the constitution.
“The emerging levels of Police brutality and public violent revenge are a dangerous precedent to the democracy that Zimbabwe seeks to build. Peace, law and order are never built on the foundations of violence.
“Therefore, for the police to pursue national security, law and order using inhumane actions and violence against peaceful citizens is deplorable and objectionable. It is an affront to the People’s Constitutional Rights and fundamental human freedoms,” they said.
Efforts to get a comment from the police spokesperson Charity Charamba were fruitless.