Envoys condemn govt repression

HARARE - Foreign envoys to Zimbabwe yesterday condemned government’s violent reaction to peaceful protests, saying the authorities must facilitate dialogue and respect human rights.

Following a spate of protests — mainly against 92-year-old President Robert Mugabe’s failed leadership — government on Thursday warned that security forces will not tolerate the demonstrations, which they perceived to be Western sponsored.

The police have brutally attacked protestors in a bid to quash the escalating demonstrations.

“We are troubled by the economic policies and financial strains that have prompted numerous recent protests in Zimbabwe,” the United States (US) embassy’s information department said yesterday.

Police has brutally attacked peaceful protestors.

“We join many Zimbabweans in their deep concern over reports of violence during some of the protests.”

The embassy said it “supports freedoms of speech and assembly” and called on government to exhibit restraint and “respect the human rights of all Zimbabwean citizens.”

“We urge all to engage in non-violent discourse and for all those involved in protests, participants and law enforcement alike to abstain from violence and intimidation,” the department said, adding that the US was also monitoring recent threats to crack down on activists using social media.

Canada’s Zimbabwe embassy also said it was increasingly concerned with reports of violence and human rights violations in response to public protest.

“The Embassy of Canada calls for calm and stresses the importance of peaceful dialogue,” the Embassy said in a statement.

“The Embassy . . . reiterates its call on all stakeholders to respect the Constitution of Zimbabwe, in particular, the freedom to peacefully demonstrate, the right to personal liberty, the right to personal security and the rights of arrested and detained persons.”

The Canadian Embassy further said it “ . . . reiterates its call on the government of Zimbabwe to make every effort to ensure that public policing and justice are consistent with the government’s constitutional obligation to respect basic human rights and freedoms”.

Australia’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Suzanne McCourt, said her

“. . . Embassy shares the concerns of many Zimbabweans at the violence which has occurred over recent weeks in Zimbabwe”.

“The use of violence is not acceptable under any circumstance. The Australian Embassy wishes to emphasise that the rule of law, respect for human rights, right to free speech, freedom of assembly and other democratic freedoms are at the heart of the Zimbabwean Constitution and must be respected by all parties,” she said.

Comments (3)

Mugabe and his group are aware that once they heeded calls to allow demonstrations, demonstrators will finally arrive at his doorstep and demand his resignation and resigning is not what he is ready to do. We can only urge the ambassadors to continue taking a close look and to speak against force by the ruling gang. I also urge international journalists to come to Zimbabwe in their thousands (under guise of tourists at entry points) to cover all the protests and to show the whole world how cruel and brutal Mugabe and his family and friends are and have always been. Perhaps we can attain the freedom that we have never enjoyed in the country.

Yeoman Thomas - 28 August 2016

Mugabe and his ZANU PF are souless and brainless beings not worth to be given the dignity of human beings, hence they never feel or get any concern by condemning the wrong acts. Envoys should converse political, diplomatic, social and economic isolation of Mugabe, and ZANU PF. When their business suffer abroad, children send back to Zimbabwe, to struggle with us all without food, water and electricity then they will hear.

amina - 29 August 2016

Mugabe AND Zanu must go

Vusumuzi B Ncube - 30 August 2016

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