By Daniel Chigundu
National Vendors Union of Zimbabwe (NAVUZ) board chairperson Sten Zvorwadza has handed a petition to the United Nations calling for the ban of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) from participating in peacekeeping missions.
According to the petition, petitioners say they have been victims of police brutality which is in violation of the UN Charter and other various international laws that deal with human rights issues.
“We the undersigned concerned Zimbabwean individuals and organisations who have been victims of police brutality; violence and abuse of the rule of law perpetrated by the Zimbabwean state, thus call for the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council to immediately issue a resolution condemning the actions and activities of Zimbabwe.
“Consider such appropriate penalties as defined in international law against the Republic of Zimbabwe, order the immediate withdrawal and pulling out of all forces and individuals deployed by Zimbabwe in various peace keeping missions.
“And must call on Zimbabwe to immediately stop and abate the omissions and commissions against international law and its own institutions and restore immediately the rule of law and constitutionalism in Zimbabwe,” read the petition which was received by Mr Oleh Sokorovyi at the UN Mount Pleasant offices.
According to Zvorwadza, the United Nations Security Council must stop the Zimbabwe Republic Police from participating in peacekeeping missions adding that they are perpetrators of violence at home and therefore cannot promote peace elsewhere.
The Zimbabwe Republic Police have dealt ruthlessly with such protestors as Tajamuka, NAVUZ and NERA in the last six months; where they have also gone on to crush meetings and demonstrations sanctioned by courts.
Zimbabwe’s has participated in various peacekeeping missions around the world beginning with 1991 deployment in the UN Verification Mission in Angola (UNAVEM II)
The good performance of the Zimbabwean detachment earned the country a credible reputation that led to further UN requests for its personnel. Since then, personnel from the country’s uniformed forces, including the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF), the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) and the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPS), have participated in UN missions including Angola, Côte d’Ivoire, East Timor, Eritrea, Kosovo, Liberia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Sudan and South Sudan.
The country’s contribution to peace missions is in fulfillment of its commitment to international and regional peace, stability and development.