via Aids-Free World calls for UN, ICC action on Mugabe | The Zimbabwean. by Chris Ncube
Aids- Free World, the international advocacy organization, called on the Security Council of the United Nations to ask the International Criminal Court to investigate Robert Mugabe for crimes against humanity after another controversial poll retained him power.
In a statement, Gill Mathurin, Aids-Free World Communications Manager, warned the country could spiral into more problems with him at the helm.
Mathurin heavily criticized the Southern African Development saying the organizations have shown ‘craven complicity’ in sustaining Mugabe by providing a clean bill of health for the election.
“The strongest sanction at this point, to counter the culture of impunity, lies with the Security Council. The Security Council has done it before: they have made referrals to the International Criminal Court in the case of President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan and Muammar Gaddafi of Libya. They can do it again. The UK and the United States are the obvious countries to introduce the appropriate resolution. They’ll have to do battle with China and Russia, but the battle is well worth every stitch of diplomatic muscle,” said Mathurin.
Mathurin said there was a possibility of violence amid tensions over the election results.
“The possibility of violence over the next few months is great. The election results have been hotly contested: even before the MDC lost to ZANU-PF, there were credible allegations of vote-rigging, electoral violations, and intimidation at every turn. MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai has brought his challenge to Zimbabwe’s Constitutional Court, the African Union, and the Southern African Development Community. He and his supporters are enraged with what they term a stolen election. Mugabe does not take charitably to such accusations. Zimbabwe could spiral into mayhem. Human rights activists, members of the opposition, and especially women are at risk. Mugabe has no compunction whatsoever in using violence to consolidate power. And he has never been in a stronger position to wield it,” added the official.
Mathurin said fighting the election results as well as other human rights abuses through the courts would be futile.
“The judicial system in Zimbabwe is in legal tatters and in thrall to Zanu (PF). It is impossible to pursue Mugabe through that avenue. Zimbabwe has not ratified the International Criminal Court statute, so the court, on its own, cannot launch an investigation into crimes against humanity. The new Zimbabwe constitution guarantees immunity to Mugabe from prosecution so long as he remains President, and even were he to step down, he can invoke the principle of “good faith” to defend actions taken while in office.”
In 2009, the Jamaican-based AIDS-Free World was forced to turn to South Africa in pursuit of justice for women violated ahead of the 2008 election.
“That is because every other avenue was at a dead-end, save one: action by the Security Council. AIDS-Free World has done its job; now it’s time for the Security Council to rise to the task. The situation is without precedent. Mugabe is systematically closing every lifeline to justice. It’s not just a matter of the fraudulent election; there are other draconian considerations at work. Conflict in Zimbabwe does not require war. It requires only Robert Mugabe,” Mathurin said.