The daily newspaper, Newsday reported yesterday that over 1000 families have been internally displaced in the urban suburbs of Epworth, Mbare and other surroundings. The disturbances have sparked an array of denial of fundamental human rights as the displaced families are in dire need of shelter, food, state security and social-psycho rehabilitation. Those hardest hit are innocent school children who are forced to miss school as a result of the erupting chaotic environment.

As human rights defenders we condemn in the strongest terms the work of violence. We note that with it, comes disturbances of order, rule of law, abuse of human rights, loss of property, instigation of fear, loss of livelihoods and most critical the displacement of families. Violence will never co-exist with peace.

We challenge Zimbabweans to show the maturity that should be exhibited with the two year span that the coalition government has been into existence. This is the time for Zimbabweans to show maturity that is beyond partisan politics, failure to which is counter productive and will only lead the nation back to the reign of anarchy that prevailed in 2008 before peace could be restored by the negotiated settlement between the GPA principals. As ROHR Zimbabwe we urge the police force to be realistic, truthful, practical, and independent and desist from partisan approaches to the issue of violence.

It is our humble view that the recent statement by an authority of the rank of police assistant commissioner in today’s herald, in which he chronicled a series of incidents he accuses the MDC of causing violence against ZANU Pf supporters leaves a lot to be desired. At the backdrop of more than a thousand supporters of MDC reported the Newsday of 09/02/11 to be seeking shelter in safe houses, it is shocking for the police commissioner to speak as a spokesperson of one political party instead of approaching crime independently without discrimination to restore order and equality before the law.

The police force should play a pivotal role as the major stakeholder upon which the project to establish and consolidate sustainable peace is squarely premised, particularly during this defining moment. The Global Political Agreement in article 13, states that the three principals agreed to reform the security sector to align with the requirements of a multi-party democratic system, to transform the uniformed forces to observe the principles of the rule of law, human rights, remain non-partisan and impartial but the current environment vindicates that it is yet to be reflected on the ground.

ROHR Zimbabwe believes that our police force has it within reach; the capacity to deal amicably with any outbreaks of violence provided there is a clear will and motive for that to be achieved. We therefore appeal to the GPA principals and to the police at large to take timely action to curb the ongoing incidence of violence before it erupts into a wave that can engulf the whole country and rekindle the sad memories of the painful legacy of 2008 crisis.