4 August 2018

Zimbabwe: Statement On Military Deployment

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Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) condemns the Zimbabwe Government's deployment of the army into the country's major centres and mounting of roadblocks in cities and across the country's major highways. This follows the disputed 30 July polls that have so far claimed 6 citizens following protests in Harare.

The response by the military to fire live ammunition into crowds on 01 August 208 is regrettable. The Commissioner General of Police's attempts to justify the deployment of soldiers arguing that the police had invoked section 37 of the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) is both unconstitutional and ill-advised.

As Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, we firmly hold the view that the military must not usurp policing duties from the police. We remain greatly worried on the safety of citizens following the shootings and the beatings of civilians in Harare and Chitungwiza.

The continued presence of the army in the streets only confirms our view that since the military coup of 15 November 2017 human security in Zimbabwe is at stake.

We are equally worried with the intimidation and assault of media personnel covering an MDC Alliance press conference at Bronte Hotel in Harare. In addition, both local and international journalists have been assaulted by the army and police while carrying out their constitutionally guaranteed duties. Such undemocratic actions confirm our fears that the Mnangagwa administration is not sincere with ensuring that the country moves towards a more open and democratic society through reforms to state institutions and the political environment.

The events of the past 3 days after the July 30 polls are an indictment on the part of the Zimbabwe Government and the military contingent and indicate that the military government has upped its game since the June 2008 state sponsored terror which claimed more than 200 lives.

Following the military coup of November 2017, we have been clear as Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition that the only way for Zimbabwe to return to its constitutional order is to uphold the dictates of Chapter 4 of the Constitution and repeal of legislation that curtails human freedoms guaranteed by the constitution.

We reiterate our position that Zimbabwe is now a fully-fledged military state and that unleashing the military on unarmed civilians can only plunge Zimbabwe into a deeper crisis.

As CiZC, we implore regional, continental and international partners to intervene in resolving the Zimbabwean crisis which if unabated, is a potential threat to peace and stability in the SADC region and the globe at large.

Source: Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition

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