HARARE – The Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) has accused the Zimbabwe Republic Police of indirectly inflaming political tensions in the country through turning a blind eye towards crimes committed against opponents by Zanu PF loyalists while maintaining a tough hand on the opposition.
In its September report, the rights based NGO which documents politically motivated violations in the country, blamed police for selectively applying the law.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police has been biased and continues to be selective in enforcing the law in favour of Zanu PF, as seen through arbitrary and unlawful detentions of opposition activists and human rights defenders.
“The ZRP continues to be an enforcer for the ruling party, ready to arrest those who do not support Zanu PF and deliberately look away when the ruling party is on the wrong side of the law.
“High levels of hate speech expose the culture of political intolerance in Zimbabwe during campaigns and on social media,” read parts of the report.
This comes after Owen Mudha Ncube, a former state security minister and top Zanu PF official, recently threatened opposition leader Nelson Chamisa and his party with violence worse than the bloodbath seen of the 2008 presidential run-off election.
In July, Zanu PF activist Abton Mashanyika virtually issued a death warrant for Chamisa and his children, boasting that he enjoyed protection from his party against any arrests.
Public calls for Mashanyika to be arrested for inciting hate speech have drawn blanks with police saying they were still investigating the matter.
Equally, violence also marred the build up to last weekend’s by-elections with alleged Zanu PF militant supporters launching physical attacks on opposition activists.
There have been no arrests on perpetrators.
ZPP also accused Zanu PF of waging a coordinated campaign against the party’s main rivals, the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC).
“The toxicity of politics in Zimbabwe remains alarming and a cause for concern for the ZPP.
“ZPP notes how Zanu PF has launched systematic threats and intimidation targeting opposition supporters in rural and urban areas.
“The ruling party has adopted concerted actions where opposition political players, especially in the Citizens’ Coalition for Change, are threatened and, in some cases, physically abused,” further read the report.
Police have, in past comments, denied any bias towards the ruling party.