Heal Zimbabwe condemns the assault of Patson Dzamara by state security agents after he peacefully protested before the VIP tent at the National Sports Stadium soon after the President’s address on Independence day. According to Dzamara’s lawyer, the demonstration might have angered State security agents who saw him waving a placard, demanding the President to account for his missing brother, Itai, who was allegedly abducted near his Glen View home last year.
Patson Dzamara was allegedly forced to drink lots of water, forced to kneel in an uncomfortable position, assaulted with booted feet and fists, and later interrogated at Harare Central Police Station. Such inhuman treatment is a violation of Section 53 of the Constitution which states that no person may be subjected to physical torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
The attack on Dzamara came soon after President Mugabe, in his independence speech, outlined the gains of Independence which key among them is the promotion and safe guarding of fundamental human rights which include freedom to demonstrate and petition. Section 58 of the Constitution that seeks to defend and uphold the gains brought by independence, provide for freedom to demonstrate and petition peacefully.
The attack on Dzamara on Independence Day fuels doubt over Government’s lack of commitment to respect, tolerate and promote human rights. Heal Zimbabwe remains worried by Government’s lack of respect for fundamental human rights which are provided for by the constitution.
Heal Zimbabwe calls on Government to inculcate a culture of tolerance and respect of fundamental human rights which are explicitly provided for by the Constitution for all to enjoy. And also calls upon the same Government to provides answers for the disappearance of the human rights activist, whose whereabouts remain a mystery more than a year since his disappearance.