Zim activist seeks UN intervention

HARARE - Zimbabwean activist Fransisca Mandeya — who is pushing a petition seeking United Nations (UN) chief Ban Ki-moon’s intervention over escalating human rights violations — said she will leave no stone unturned in ensuring the country is put on international spotlight.

This comes amid escalating attacks of protestors by police in a bid to quash demonstrations, which have been mostly against President Robert Mugabe’s 36-year failed leadership.

Mandeya, whose online petition has over 16 000 signatures, told the Daily News from her Canada base that she is using songs and all media platforms to bring the Zimbabwean story to the international community’s attention.

“Our move is to garner support from international media and to use all avenues on social media to ensure that Ban Ki Moon is personally aware of the petition and pressure keeps mounting while the signatures keep flowing,” she said.

“With enough media attention on the issue, perhaps the same attention as Cecil the Lion got, the petition will be noticed,” said Mandeya, who wants Zimbabwe to be on the agenda when UN meets in September.

She plans to use #ThisFlag movement’s north America gathering to prop up her demands and hand over a 1 000-paged petition with up-to-date signatures and comments at the September meeting.

Mandeya further said an email has already been sent to UN and she has made several follow up calls.

“…the UN is aware of this petition but it has not responded to address the issues in our plea for protection. The petitions office sent a form that is to be filled according to the UN guidelines. The New York office advised that chances of having the issue not only noticed but discussed are higher if the UN form is used to lodge a ‘formal petition’. Two lawyers, one from Lawyers for Human Rights and another, International Lawyer have been approached to help with that process,” she said.

Asked on the motive behind her online petition to the UN, Mandeya said, it was meant to be an early warning sign to avoid disaster in Zimbabwe.

“Knowing Zimbabwe’s poor human rights report card, the planned non-violent protests against poverty, corruption and injustice would obviously be met with brutal force and possible abductions/disappearances, torture and murder of Zimbabweans as they had gathered strength to break the culture of silence,” Mandeya said.

“The communiqué from Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe warning Zimbabweans that they were abusing social media was a direct attempt to stifle freedom of expression and threats were issued to citizens who were rising against an oppressive system. The UN was being asked to act before violence against the oppressed began,” she said.

Comments (2)

Good luck

Dhewa - 28 August 2016

sure we need a great intervention of these organs , now we have tried our best since the past 2 decades zimbos were too linient now its time to get help from these people yet the iron is still hot

Casper - 29 August 2016

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