Zimbabwe’s state funded Human Rights Commission has accused police of violating the rights of its citizens during recent protests in an unprecedented slap on the wrist for President Robert Mugabe’s government.
The commission, which was established in 2013, expressed concern about the force’s use of teargas and encouraged members of the public who felt they had been on the receiving end of police brutality during protests to lodge an official complaint with the commission.
It made the announcement two days after violent scenes rocked the centre of the capital, Harare as police fought running battles with opposition supporters who had tried to push ahead with a court-sanctioned march for electoral reforms.
Social unrest is intensifying with near-daily protests in Zimbabwe where cash shortages and a lack of jobs are making life tough for many.
Police have used batons, teargas and water cannons to pummel protesters and pedestrians, and injuries have been reported.
Longtime leader Mugabe, 92, who came into power after Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980 has however vowed there will be “no Arab spring” in the country.