On 23 May 2020, Paul Munakopa of Bulawayo died in circumstances that could have well been
avoided. The 34-year-old was a victim of the police’s heavy-handedness. He was shot during a car
chase, and the police who shot him were using an unmarked vehicle in an operation that they are
yet to reveal.
This is just one of the incidences that speak to the continued rise in cases of human rights abuses
perpetrated by state security agents.
For the second time in the year, the police and army topped the list of perpetrators of human rights
violations. Overall, the police contributed to 41.21 percent of the human rights violations, while the
army contributed to 22.26 percent of the violations.
The state security agents have been on the frontline of enforcing the lockdown imposed since
March 30th.
It is in the same period, starting April, that the country grappled with the economic and social
effects of the COVID19 pandemic.
It has become apparent that COVID19 is not just a health matter, but touches on economic,
political, social and human rights aspects of people.
This explains why by the end of May, police had arrested over 40,000 people for defying lockdown
regulations; mostly in an effort to conduct economic activities to earn an income.
ZPP recorded cases of arrested citizens not being taken through the formal arrest procedure, but
enduring harassment, intimidation and assault at the hands of law enforcement. Victims told horror
stories of their experiences at the hands of law enforcement agents.
This makes arrests in Zimbabwe a human rights issue.

A soldier enforcing
lockdown regulations
assaults a pedestrian
in Harare. Pic by

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