TWO people, one of whom is a three month baby have dies at Burombo Flats, in Makokoba Bulawayo yesterday after police fired teargas in the corridors at the flats in a clampdown on protestors who took part in last week’s #ShutdownZim campaign.
According to Crisis in Zimbabwe the deceased minor Tapuwanashe Mutasa was barely 3 months old.
“Yesterday Bulawayo Police came to apologise to the bereaved families and provided firewood but what is surprising is that they came with f police dogs trying to intimidate residents” said Tineyi Mukweva of Abameli Human Rights Lawyers.
Under international law, the use of teargas is prohibited in closed environments as it heightens the risk of death by suffocation.
The events in Bulawayo have proved that the police are not sincere and have abdicated their duty spelt out in the Constitution Section 219 (1) 9c) which states that the police have a duty of protecting and securing lives and property.
The murder cases in Bulawayo are a clear violation of the Constitution (Section 48) which guarantees the Right to Life and sections 59 which guarantees the right to demonstrate and petition.
Responding to the killings, Dumisani Nkomo CiZC Spokesperson, condemned the police brutality against unarmed civilians saying the majority of the victims of police brutality at Burombo flats were women and children who were not even part of last week’s protests.
“Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition has challenged the state’s heavy handedness in dealing with peaceful protestors following Wednesday’s #ShutDownZimbabwe. We reiterate that the founding values of our nation have been compromised and the right to free expression has been violated through wanton purges of protestors and citizens in the aftermath of Wednesday’s Stay Away. CiZC urges the state to re-establish the social contract with citizens as a lasting solution to the current national crisis. Further, State sponsored attempts on closing the democratic space will only worsen the situation in Zimbabwe,” said Nkomo. – reporting Patience Rusere