The Matabeleland Forum, a grouping of 15 non-governmental organisations based in the region, has written to the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) complaining about the alleged abuse of two Cowdray Park female residents by members of the police last week.
The women, who are sister, said they had gone to the shops to buy some foodstuffs when they were harassed and detained overnight without a charge laid against them.
In its letter to the ZHRC, the Matabeleland Forum said:
We would like to express utter dismay, shock and disappointment at the treatment of two female residents of Cowdray Park township by the Zimbabwe Republic Police officers in the area a few days ago.
While the lockdown has measures for restricting movement, residents are normally allowed to move within a 5km radius of their homes to access essential services, as long as social distancing measures are observed.
According to the two ladies, who happen to be sisters, nothing they did was in violation of such rules nor required such heavy-handedness from law enforcers…
The letter was signed off by the 15 organisations who include: South-Western Region Gender Network, Masakhaneni Projects Trust, Ukuthula Trust, Habakkuk Trust, Ibhetshu Likazulu, Community Youth Development Trust, Women Media Development Foundation, National Youth Development Trust, Women Institute for Leadership Development, Tree of Life, Victory Siyanqoba, Zimbabwe Christian Alliance, Christian Legal Society, Emthonjeni Women’s Forum and the Dumiso Dabengwa Foundation.