MP castigates parly ‘silence’ on army crackdown

MDC legislator Innocent Gonese on Tuesday castigated the Parliament for not taking action against the violation of human rights and abuse of people by uniformed forces following the violent  protests that swept through the country a fortnight ago.

Gonese said the ongoing violation of human rights has resulted in negative publicity of the country.

He reiterated that according to Section 119 of the Constitution the August House has a responsibility to ensure provisions of the Constitution are followed.

“Zimbabwe is on the spotlight because of the activities of members of the Defence Forces who do not have any responsibility to carry out policing duties,” said Gonese.

“It was critical for us as representatives of the people to be informed and given an appropriate detail of why the Defence Forces had to be deployed. That has not happened. As an institution, we must act collectively”.

Gonese said the march by lawyers in Harare is an indication of the severity of the matter as it expresses their displeasure over the prevailing injustice.

“Lawyers have been appalled hence have resorted to march from the Law Society House to the Constitutional Court to express their displeasure because they are the ones who represent accused persons. This is a matter of concern that rights of accused persons are not being upheld, they are not being given a right to stand trial,” he said.

Gonese implored the parliament to treat the problem facing the country with the urgency it deserves as members of public are also equally concerned with the current situation.

“We have a situation where mass trials are being ordered, where juveniles are being tried in violation of their rights. Women are being raped and abused-such a shameful thing.”

He decried the violation of the rule of law where members of the public and politicians are being arrested against the Constitutional procedure.

“The rule of law is being trampled upon.  I am not talking about the merits of the cases against them but we have got Hon. Amos Chibaya, Hon. Livingston Chimina, Hon. Settlement Chikwinya, Hon. Lloyd Mukapiko and Hon. Rosemary Nyathi who were placed under arrest in exactly the circumstances where the rule of law is not being observed,” he said.

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