|Masvingo residents at the public hearing meeting|
MASVINGO – Masvingo residents demanded during a public hearing meeting held early this week that no retired army and police officers should be appointed into the Independent Commission.
Speaking during a public hearing of the proposed Zimbabwe Independent Complaints Commission Bill, residents told the joint Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Peace and Security Services and Defense and Home Affairs that retired security officers must not be appointed as commissioners.
Clayton Bere from Women’s Academy for Leadership and Political Excellence (WALPE) said that commissioners who will serve in the commission must not be members of the security services.
“We do not want members of the security service or retired officers to be appointed as commissioners. Those who will be part of the commission shouldn’t be related with any political party since most of them account for the majority of human rights against citizens especially during elections and this might compromise its independence,” said Bere.
“This Bill is not independent at all, it gives the President more powers to appoint individuals that serve in the Commission, we need public interviews to be done so that qualified people will be appointed in the committee,” said Phillip Mukaro.
Another resident Reason Chipwanya said the Commission must not only investigate but must be given powers to prosecute those found on the wrong side of the law.
“The Commission must be given arresting powers so that members of the security services that violate human rights are arrested and charged with harsh penalties,” said Chipwanya.
The Zimbabwe Independent Complaints Commission Bill seeks to provide for an independent complaints mechanism for members of the public against members of the security services in fulfillment of Section 210 of the Constitution.