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ZHRC to train municipal police officers on human rights

The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) has announced it will begin training municipal police officers on human rights to ensure they perform their duties without violating citizen’s rights. 

This initiative follows numerous public complaints, particularly from vendors whose goods have been confiscated by municipal police.

Speaking at a civil society organisation meeting reviewing the government’s progress on implementing UN human rights recommendations, ZHRC Deputy Chairperson Dr Dorothy Moyo said the training would commence in Bulawayo.

“We are also going to be training municipal police officers on human rights,” she said. “A municipal police officer might say ‘give us payment’ after clamping your car. We will be training them on proper procedures. In Bulawayo, there are about 198 municipal police officers we are going to train, so hopefully, we will see a change.”

“We are not saying they don’t do their jobs,” Dr Moyo clarified. “They must do their jobs, but it must be done with respect for human rights.”

Dr Moyo added that the Commission has also received numerous complaints about how municipal police engage with vendors.

“For instance, in Harare, a vendor sustained a fractured arm because of an altercation with a municipal police officer,” she said. “The municipal police gave the vendor US$200. When we were talking to the vendor, she initially said she was okay because he had given her US$200, but we did not accept that. It is unacceptable. The matter is before the court, and we are watching that case closely. That’s why they are undergoing training now.”

“We will start with Bulawayo, Harare, and Masvingo, then move to other towns,” Dr Moyo concluded. “But we still encourage people to pay for their parking so their cars are not clamped.”

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