If thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought. Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidarity to pure wind. – George Orwell, author of 1984
Police brutality is a deadly plague that has Black people worldwide have been dealing with for an uncomfortably long time- as in one case was more than enough- and yet here we are in the 21st century, still dealing with the same issues that are nothing short of barbaric and unlawful.
I would say unethical but that ship sailed a long long long time ago and the lack of 2020 vision is too rampant in this society to carry that kind of consciousness. Yes, 2020, the year of multiple pandemics, where innocent, unarmed Black women and men die at the hands of those sworn to serve and protect.
It has been well over a couple of days or weeks since a Bulawayo man – Paul Munakopa – was gunned down by police officers resulting in the loss of his life. Munakopa was on a late evening drive with fiancee, Tracy Mufudzi, before being chased by an unmarked vehicle, and ending up in a ditch. Not once did the officers identify themselves as the police, ask Munakopa to stop his car or fire warning shots; and when Mufudzi asked why they started firing, they allegedly told her that it was because Munakopa had not stopped the car.
Given the climate of society today, there’s a city in mourning the wrongful murder of an innocent man. To this day, not one move to serve justice has been made.
State oppression resulting in police brutality runs deep under this nation’s soil. According to the book, Zimbabwe: Wages of War A Report on Human Rights, by the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, Temba Moyo, son of Jason Moyo, died in police custody in Bulawayo in August 1984.
The death of Temba Moyo in police custody. Temba Moyo was the son of struggle icon, J.Z. Moyo. This is an extract from an investigative report by the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights detailing the Zimbabwean state’s violence during #Gukurahundi No one has been held accountable. pic.twitter.com/tF4Ur12qPJ
— Alex T Magaisa 🇿🇼 (@Wamagaisa) June 1, 2020
History repeats itself over 30 years later.
Time and time again, the police not only violates the Constitution of Zimbabwe but their own mission too.
To maintain law and order, protect and secure the lives and property of the people and to institute dynamic policing practices that engender effective prevention, investigation, and detection of crime.
Chapter 4, Part 2 of the constitution is the Right to Life – and Paul, as well as many others like him, were needlessly robbed of theirs.
In like vein, the rights to human dignity, freedom from torture, or cruel, inhuman, degrading treatment or punishment; freedom to demonstrate and petition, freedom of expression and freedom of media have been religiously violated and ignored. Multiple incidents have occurred where journalists and content creators have been arrested for doing their jobs, women in positions of power and activists getting “abducted and tortured”– only for their trauma to be labelled as false news and comedy.
In addition, people getting beaten whilst demonstrating/protesting.
We cannot forget the censorship of January 2019, after protests ensued after a 130% increase in fuel prices. With a full week of censorship, there was little to no news coverage of the police and military beating and abducting random civilians. Even children. Nor can we forget the lawyers who marched against police brutality.
“We are marching against the police brutality as well as to remind the Minister of Home Affairs and the Commissioner General of the Police of their obligations in terms of the Constitution and international human rights instruments,” Hanzi told Anadolu Agency.
When it all boils down, all the people want is freedom. To be released from entrapment under the thumb of governmental oppression. To believe and know that they are protected and that their government has their best interests at heart.
We see ZW govt functionaries overly enthusiastic about calling out police brutality in the US – how about Zimbabwean lives? Don’t they matter? Charity begins at home. pic.twitter.com/AGfisqjlh3
— ZANDATOTO (@xandatoto) June 8, 2020
But as each day passes, the hopes of people become increasingly more naive. The death of Paul Munakopa has to be answered for. The chain of events that led to his death has substantial evidence with more than one eyewitness which points to wrongful death. Multiple media outlets have tried to divert the people from the truth by informing them of a crime Munakopa committed 6 years ago and that he was found naked with his fiancée. How can murder be justified over information that adds no value to his case?
The fact of the matter is, we want an arrest and a conviction of whoever shot Paul Munakopa and took away his life.
People want Justice for Paul. The powers that be owe it to his family and Zimbabwe.