Former ZIPRA liberation warfighters have implored the Zimbabwean military and other security agents to refrain from harassing citizens during enforcement of Covid-19 prevention measures.
The call for restraint is made after Vice President Constantino who is also the minister of Health and Child Care on Saturday announced fresh lockdown measures.
Speaking to NewZimbabwe.com ahead of the commencement of the new lockdown regime this Tuesday, ZIPRA Veterans Association deputy secretary-general, Job Ndlovu, said:
We are appealing to government through Defence Minister Oppah Muchinguri and Commander Defence Forces Philip Valerio Sibanda to make sure that citizens are not harassed by the security forces.
The security sector is there to protect the citizens of this country. They are not there to abuse and threaten people.
People are afraid to see heavily armed soldiers wielding AKs in the streets.
People should be more afraid of Covid-19 than soldiers who are peacekeepers.
Zimbabwe is a democratic country where people should not be afraid of their army.
We applaud the government for introducing the lockdown measures to curb the spreading of Covid-19, but we are very concerned that the government has not announced anything on the issue of social welfare on those people whose income is going to be affected by the lockdown.
It was better if the government was going to provide food hampers to the people like what is happening in other countries.
People are coming from the holiday and they do not have any money.
During previous lockdown regimes, soldiers and police officers who were implementing the measures used sheer force leaving some injured.
A handful of cases on the brutality of state security forces are still pending.
Fears abound that the “overzealous” security officers will once again violate human rights in the name of enforcing the lockdown.