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Zimbabwean Civic Group Says Violence By Police, Army On The Rise

A leading Zimbabwean nongovernmental organization has voiced concern over what it says is a rising level of violence by police officers and members of the army against the population with national elections coming up in just nine weeks.

The National Constitutional Assembly issued a statement charging that the Zimbabwe Republic Police and the army are increasingly resorting to violence when dealing with unarmed demonstrators. It said even court-approved protests are being crushed.

The group noted, however, that policemen brutalising civilians face the same problems as their victims, including widespread shortages of water, electricity and cash.

NCA spokesman Maddock Chivasa told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the NCA is urging people to resist unlawful police arrests.

The group's warning of rising official violence comes despite a recent amendment of the Public Order and Security Act which on the face of it eased the bill's draconian restrictions on public gatherings and demonstrations.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...