SUSPECTED State-sponsored human rights abuses since the new dispensation begot by the November 2017 putsch is putting paid to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s thrust to re-engage the international community on the backcloth of breaking from the past.
Mnangagwa assumed power on the maxim he will implement robust political and economic reforms to entrench democracy. But it is dastardly that since his ascension, our human rights record is worsening.
We witnessed callous pulverisation of public dissent on August 1 last year and in January this year, the army gunned down more civilians to silence protests over fuel price hikes.
Since January, reports show, over 50 political and human rights activists have been abducted, including the latest case of Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association acting president Peter Magombeyi. Hundreds more were assaulted and arrested.
While Magombeyi’s case is sub judice as it is still playing out in the courts, of deep concern is the disconcerting way the State and its apparatus are treating citizens.
The State and the citizens now have a gaol and prisoner relationship, where the inmate always thinks of running away from jail.
The State’s Gestapo mentality has to be halted!
Mnangagwa and his government cannot continue to speak like kings in a republic. Running the country through decrees and weapons of coercion is not only anarchist, but antithetical to democracy.
The trampling of human rights, limiting of democratic space and dissembling acts through goons in the State propaganda machinery are unacceptable in a democracy — it reeks of Stone Age tactics.
The nonsense about a third force abducting citizens has neither buyers nor takers. It’s just but nothing short of clutching at straws in a futile bid to wriggle off the hook. Mnangagwa and his hangers-on must never abdicate their constitutional mandate to guarantee the security of every citizen and must smoke out the third force, that is if it’s not imaginary as we suspect.
The regime needs to do the correct things now. This country will never move forward as long as Mnangagwa and his government have no respect for the dignity of citizens. We need national healing, but the main challenge is how to deal with the level of impunity the country has tolerated after independence.
As a nation, we have failed to respond swiftly and firmly to political violence, abductions and other human rights violations since independence.
There has been a blanket amnesty — no truth revealed, no questions asked! What a shame!