CIZC Statement on Radio Dialogue Raid
1 March 2013
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition would like to unreservedly condemn the raid by Police in Bulawayo of the Ingwe Studios of Radio Dialogue and the current detention of Radio Dialogue Editor Zenzele Ndebele. The Coalition contends that the raid on Radio Dialogue and arrest of Zenzele Ndebele, are a continuation of the Police Campaign to cripple NGOs from doing their work through criminalizing their efforts, and denting their credibility. The Coalition has observed with utter consternation, said trend, which has seen at least 8 organizations, including, Zimrights, COTRAD, ZESN, ZPP, NANGO, ERC, WILD, YIDEZ and others receiving unwarranted attention, visits and raids by the Police in January and February of 2013.
The Coalition sees this attack on Radio Dialogue as a clear sign that in spite of the impending referendum, and elections later this year, the country is clearly not ready for elections, and that the Police instead of focusing their attention on arresting politically motivated violence, and its perpetrators are busy targeting institutions, whose only crime is to empower citizens materially and with knowledge and access to information.
The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition would like to make it unequivocally clear, that it holds the Inclusive Government of Zimbabwe responsible and accountable for the current crack down on Civil Society Organizations and the escalating political violence by some elements within it. The Coalition challenges those in the inclusive government who have claimed that they are not party to the crackdown and have condemned it, to put their words into meaningful and discernible actions that result into the halting of these unwarranted actions.
The Coalition is surprised that the Police can move swiftly to arrest NGO leaders, when known murderers and arsonists of the late 12 year old, Christpowers Simbarashe Maisiri roam free in the Ruura area of Headlands in Manicaland province, and their principals continue to occupy respectable government offices and positions.
The Coalition demands that:
1. Police in Bulawayo, immediately and unconditionally release Zenzele Dube, from unjustified and unwarranted incarceration.
2. That the Government takes concrete steps to stop the Police from harassing CSOs throughout the country.
3. The police ceases from implementing Political party resolutions and arresting NGO leaders, and instead focus their attention on apprehending perpetrators of violence, starting with the arrest of the arsonists and murders responsible for the death of 12 year old, Christpowers Simbarashe Maisiri.
If the state continues to be uncooperative on these matters, civil society will be left with no choice but to be uncooperative with any Inclusive Government business, starting with the active Boycott and encouraging fellow Zimbabwe citizens not to participate in the 16 March 2013 referendum. Given the existing circumstances, the Coalition is of the strong view that there is no way that people can be expected to exercise free will, choice and participate meaningfully in any public political processes.