Source: ‘2017 registered worst human rights abuses’ – NewsDay Zimbabwe December 11, 2017
THE Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) has described 2017 as one of the worst years in terms of human rights abuses in the country, compared to recent years.
By NQOBANI NDLOVU
ZimRights director, Okay Machisa told Southern Eye that the human rights abuses recorded this year were exacerbated by Zanu PF’s factional infighting, that saw ruling party opponents on the receiving end.
“The year 2017 had one of the worst human rights abuses, but that, however, ended into some way of joy to the people because the person who presided over the country was an authoritarian and a dictator and he is gone,” Machisa said.
The violations, Machisa said, came at a heavy cost to the social well-being of ordinary Zimbabweans, whose welfare was “parked” by ministers who were expending their energies to Zanu PF’s factional fights and not government business.
“However, a lot of human rights abuses occurred as a result of Zanu PF factional fights. At the top, leadership was fighting and that cascaded to the grassroots level, where attention from the government was no longer on the people’s welfare, but on selfish gains, leadership posts, and who would lead Zanu PF and government.
“This resulted in the socio-economic and cultural status plummeting to a level where every individual in our society was left without choice, but to become a vendor,” he added.
According to Machisa, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has an easy task of correcting the wrongs of his predecessor, Robert Mugabe, particularly on human rights issues, but “only if he dumps Mugabeism” politics.
“What we call upon is for Mnangagwa not to carry the Mugabeism with him. The stage that he (Mnangagwa) is on should be changed. He should not dance on the same stage that Mugabe was dancing on. He should make sure that he has brought in change,” Machisa said.
“He is blessed, he is very lucky. I can actually say blessed is he Mnangagwa, who takes over from a dictator because you would know the right buttons to switch. So he is blessed he can just do the opposite of what Mugabe used to do and he will get more loves, likes and more votes if he employs political will to ensure that he has done the opposite of what Mugabe was doing.”