The Zimbabwe Christian Alliance (ZCA) has warned that the continued human rights violations especially against women in the country may result in serious conflicts if not stopped.
The alliance said it was worrying that all cases of human rights violation involved the police.
Of late, women have become ‘noticeable’ victims of assault during the lockdown period, as two sisters in Cowdray Park in Bulawayo were brutally beaten by members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP).
Another incident which recently caused alarm was the alleged abduction and torture of Harare West legislator – Joana Mamombe, with two MDC Alliance activists Netsai Marova and Cecilia Chimbiri in Harare, last week.
In a statement, the ZCA expressed deep concern over such violations.
“We are deeply concerned with continued human rights violations by the police under the lockdown period especially against women. This may result in serious conflicts throughout the country if it remains unchecked.
“We continue to note with concern the brutal arrest and torture of two sisters in Cowdray Park, Bulawayo (Ntombizodwa and Nokuthula Mpofu) by members of ZRP in April. The subsequent abduction, torture and alleged sexually abuse of Member of Parliament, Joana Mamombe, and two political activists Netsai Marova and Cecilia Chimbiri, this past week,” said the organisation.
ZCA also called for urgent investigation and prosecution of perpetrators who committed acts of violence that dehumanised the women and violated their constitutional rights.
“We note with concern that ZRP police are being implicated in both cases where in the initial case the police have been arrested on the allegations while in the second case the violated women claim that they were abducted from a police station.
“We urge the police to enforce the lockdown without violating human rights and to urgently investigate and bring to book the people who abducted the MP and the two activists,” said the churches.
The alliance pointed out citizens now lived in fear especially with the indefinite extension of the lockdown.
“We are concerned that more citizens now live in fear and trauma especially after the indefinite extension of the lockdown. We now have increasing cases of citizens that need psychosocial support from the churches.
“This is also occurring at a time when there is an increase in the reports of domestic violence and sexual gender-based violence against women and children in the country due to the covid-19 national lockdown,” the ZCA said.
According to ZCA, the acts violate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights and the SADC protocol on Gender and Development.