Zim activists ask UN chief to intervene

HARARE - Zimbabweans have asked UN chief Ban Ki-moon to convince Zimbabwe’s rulers to stop violating their rights after authorities reacted with deadly force to protests against President Robert Mugabe’s policies.

In the petition, titled #Protect Zimbabweans Pursuing Their Liberation #ThisFlag, protesters wrote to Ban amid rolling protests, calling on the UN secretary-general to use his good offices in order to induce the Zimbabwe government to adhere to its international obligations.

The appeal comes amid increasing frustration at what they say is the failure of the government to protect the democratic rights of Zimbabweans.

The online petition, that has garnered over 10 000 signatures, asked Ban to intervene in the situation they said is slowly getting out of hand.

The petitioners said Zimbabweans were in a deep crisis that is currently downplayed.

“They have a collapsed economy with no currency. Once the breadbasket of southern Africa it’s now a net importer of goods.

“Corruption is rife and the regional governance systems have failed to protect the democratic rights of Zimbabweans. Zimbabweans have been afraid to speak out but there are voices straining to be heard,” reads part of the petition.

“This is a global campaign to save Zimbabweans as they push for change by refusing to be bullied. Abduction and murder are real for those who dare challenge the system.”

Home Affairs minister, Ignatius Chombo, has ordered the police to descend heavily on activists who are calling for Mugabe and his Cabinet to resign over a worsening economic crisis, corruption and human rights abuses.

Hundreds of the activists have been arrested while police used tear smoke and dogs to quell the swelling protests

The petition, which was started by Francisca Mandeya, comes after Zimbabweans; including churches have been campaigning against Mugabe, his policies and failure to act on corruption.

“We need the support of other people to raise our voices and assurance that no one will be harmed because they are peacefully pursuing justice, accountability, fighting for their survival and future generations,” the petition reads.

“The rights of…people have been violated for over three decades.  The appropriation of the struggle to a few people must stop! This man-made crisis must end. It begins with allowing people to freely express themselves.”

The petition also demanded Mugabe’s resignation to pave a way for a new government which has the capacity to turn around the country’s fortunes.

“Unemployment rates will be drastically reduced if a functional government is established. The future of our youths will be brighter as they will secure employment and crime and drug abuse will be reduced.

“Foreign direct investment will be resumed once the rule of law is restored and property rights upheld. This means many jobs will be created. The dignity of Zimbabweans will be restored as they will regain their pride as a hardworking, honest and warm people.”

The petition further states that if Mugabe resigns, the region will be more stable, as this reduces the burden on neighbouring countries.

“Xenophobia which has resulted in many Zimbabweans being burnt in South Africa for taking their jobs will be reduced as Zimbabweans will have hope of survival back home. The brain drain that has dogged Zimbabwe over the years will be reduced if the country is restored to order.

“Diasporas will find their way back home to build the economy and be where they long to be but are denied because of the harsh economic and political climate.”

Comments (1)


kelly - 15 July 2016

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