Demos and the double face of human rights activists

Norman Moyo Correspondent
The recent shutdown called for by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) and backed by its affiliates, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance, some non-governmental organisations and civic organisations has indeed exposed the fallacy of human rights promotion and the maintenance of law and order in Zimbabwe.

While the freedom to demonstrate and petition is provided for in the Zimbabwean Constitution, the recent shutdown has shown that the tenets of freedom of expression are clearly being abused to the extent of promoting anarchy in society.

Human rights and civic organisations have failed to outrightly condemn the looting, destruction and damage to infrastructure perpetrated on shops, Government buildings, police stations, moving vehicles and private property by hooligans, who in some cases used children aged 11-16 years as  shields.

The killing of an innocent Constable Maune of the Zimbabwe Republic Police in cold blood without provocation in Bulawayo, the undressing of a female police officer at Southlea Park Police Station in Harare and the subsequent torching of her uniform by rowdy demonstrators, coupled with the massive destruction of police stations such as Dombotombo in Marondera, Chitungwiza and Southlea Park have shown the bias of human rights calls by some local and international movements.

How does one justify the attack on security agencies and looting of property under the guise of human rights? Are we saying security services in Zimbabwe have no right to life and protection and members of the public can attack them without being provoked and be allowed to go scot free?

If human rights indeed apply to all human beings why then are civic organisations, NGOs and even the media silent on the wanton destruction of property and attacks on innocent members of the security services who were performing their constitutional duties?

Are we saying human rights and the freedom to demonstrate or petition and freedom of expression are one- sided? It is sad that these champions of human rights have decided to misdirect themselves to only see those imagined against their interests.

Source : The Herald

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