Gonese said other disturbing aspects were mass trials carried out late in the evening, the arrests of juveniles and falsification of charges.
“Our law gives adequate protection to such vulnerable groups, but sadly, this has been ignored for the expediency of maintaining the façade,” he said.
The MDC top official said the justice delivery system had been found wanting and called upon judicial officers and the prosecution to introspect and reflect upon their oath of office.
“This is not a political, but fundamental issue which lies at the heart of constitutionalism, justice and the rule of law. The game must be played fairly in accordance with the dictates enshrined in our Constitution and ventilated over the years by our courts,” he said.
Gonese said when the legal year opened, Chief Justice Luke Malaba dwelt on the need for the rule of law, which is now being flagrantly disregarded.
South Africa-based Zimbabwean political activist Fortune Mlalazi said the army’s role needed to be defined.
“But now, we are seeing 2002, 2008 political activities that people went through under [former President Robert] Mugabe. We need to be able to define the role of the police and the army. We all know these roles. What it means is that at the moment, the police are now ineffective and useless hence the army has taken over the role of policing, but the policing of it is more in a military style, which is what they think will work in terms of maintaining law and order, but in that act they are being lawless,” Mlalazi said.
“I am tempted to believe that these are political soldiers, many of them are Border Gezi-trained militia who have political inclination rather than constitutional obligations. So we have a huge problem on our hands in terms of abuse and violation of human rights.”
He said there was need for urgent security sector reform.
Zapu spokesperson Iphithule Maphosa said the country had degenerated from Mugabe’s police State to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s military State.
“On that day [November 18, 2017], we missed an opportunity to reclaim from Zanu PF our State institutions that include the military, Judiciary, Legislative and Executive systems,” he said.
“A wrong precedence was set when we allowed the military to openly meddle in politics as we endorsed the coup against Mugabe and failed to immediately return soldiers to the barracks. It was then that we lost the rule of law. We need to collectively reclaim the civilian politics space by making sure the military is removed and civilians occupy the political space and this is possible through the transitional authority that will lead in transforming the constitutional institutions as we prepare for an election that is free and fair.”
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