MDC Condemns Yet Another Attack on Lawyers by the Regime

The MDC is so shocked and disgusted by yet another senseless attack and harassment of legal practitioners in the course of their duty representing their clients as provided for in terms of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

Messrs Douglas Coltart and Jeremiah Bhamu have a right and in fact obligation to provide legal services to any client who seeks their assistance.

In this regard, the President of the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union (ARTU) is no exception notwithstanding what the police and regime might think of him as he is a Zimbabwean citizen who is fully entitled to enjoy the Rights enshrined in the Constitution including the right to engage a lawyer of his own choice.

As the MDC we believe in upholding the Rule of Law and the brazen violation and trampling upon of citizen rights has no place in a modern society and it is disconcerting that police continue behaving in this manner particularly when the Regime wants to mislead the world that we are in a new dispensation but the facts on the ground show that it is worse than the previous one and in fact would not be out of place if placed alongside the Nazi or apartheid regimes.

The assault of Douglas Coltart and the visible injuries seen on his person and the trauma caused to Jeremiah Bhamu is not an isolated incident. In fact, for Coltart, it is a repetition as previously he has been arrested for attending to the call of duty.

We call upon the relevant authorities if they have any sense of decency to look into this matter and take appropriate remedial action to prevent any recurrence.

At a time when some people complain about the negative publicity that the country is getting there is no need to score own goals but for this regime it appears that the end justifies the means and they continue trampling upon the rights of those perceived to be enemies of the State.

The MDC is also concerned that this conduct has not received censure from institutions that should be protecting the rights of professionals and this can only inculcate a culture of impunity upon the transgressors and it is high time that all Zimbabweans stand for what is right and just. If it happens to professionals what more of the ordinary people, whose harassment and violation of their rights go unnoticed every day.

What has happened to the lofty ideals espoused in the Constitution that the police should be transformed from a force into a service.

Under an MDC government the rights of all the people would be protected without fear or favour and this brazen and wanton behaviour inherited from the racist regime brought to an end.

The situation in our country has reached another level. There is widespread injustice, no protection of the law, great insecurity of persons and property and systematic violence against citizens.

Innocent Gonese
MDC Secretary for Justice and Legal Affairs

 

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