International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Human Rights and Policing: A Case Study of Zimbabwe
Makwerere David, Chinzete Gillian Tafadzwa, Musorowegomo Collen

Zimbabwe is a country where the issue of human rights evokes contentious debate. The gradual deterioration in the rule of law in the country since the attainment of independence in 1980 has raised questions on the fundamental principles of policing and human rights, (Hatchard 1993). It has become common knowledge that the framework for establishing the rule of law in Zimbabwe has fallen short of the expectations of the citizens and the international community. The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) being the sole law enforcing agency has had to contend with accusations of human rights violations which is proof that they are facing serious challenges in their attempt to balance human rights protection with national security, and public order. Human rights organizations are of the opinion that the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) have abdicated its constitutional functions, responsibilities and obligations. Police officers are responsible for some of the most serious human rights and rule of law violations in Zimbabwe today. There is also consensus on the fact that far-reaching reforms and reorientation are necessary to bring Zimbabwe’s policing operations into conformity with constitutional and international human rights standards The purpose of this paper is to discuss the role of the police in protecting human rights. The paper critiques the ZRP law enforcement in the context of human rights instruments ratified by Zimbabwe and discuss how the ZRP has responded to the pressure of operating in a politically polarized society. The paper also discusses the impact of police activities on the country’s human rights record and make recommendations on how the police can improve on the protection of human rights. (270)

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