UN pressured over Zim

HARARE - Pro-democracy activists and opposition political parties have petitioned the United Nations (UN)’s Harare office to withdraw Zimbabwean troops from foreign missions, accusing the country of failing to observe the UN Charter.

Led by anti-President Robert Mugabe activist Sten Zvorwadza, the group — which included Linda Masarira — yesterday handed over the petition, signed by the Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC, among other organisations.

“ . . . we petitioners thus call for the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council to immediately order the immediate withdrawal and pulling out of all forces and individuals deployed by Zimbabwe in various peace-keeping missions,” read the petition.

In the petition, the groups urged the UN to “call on Zimbabwe to immediately stop and abate the omissions and commissions against international law and its own institutions and restore immediately the rule of law and constitutionalism in Zimbabwe”.

Tendai Biti’s People’s Democratic Party, Evan Mawarire’s #ThisFlag Movement, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, Zimbabwe National Students Union, Joice Mujuru’s Zimbabwe People First and Patson Dzamara’s Occupy Africa Unity Square (OAUS) were also signatories to the petition.

The petitioners further accused the Mugabe-led government of politicising food aid, looting diamonds and plundering national resources.

“ . . . Zimbabwe has breached Article 7 of the international covenant on civil and political rights, which makes it clear that no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel inhuman or degrading treatment…,” the petition further stated.

The petition was handed down following a spate of violence and police brutality against scores of pro-democracy activists that have protested against Mugabe’s failed 36-year leadership.

The activists are calling for Mugabe to step down and pave way for a new leadership.

However, the 92-year-old has vowed to stay put, resulting in violent clashes between the police and ordinary citizens.

The police went on to issue a ban on demonstrations, a development that riled citizens, arguing that it is their right to protest in terms of the country’s Constitution.

The petition which was copied to the UN secretary-general, members of the UN Security Council, United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Children’s Fund resident representative, is demanding Zimbabwe to be withdrawn from UN missions in Sudan, South Sudan, Liberia and Cote D’Ivoire.

“ . . . it is patently clear that Zimbabwe is in breach of the UN Charter in particular the rights protected under Article 13, 9, 8, 18, 19 and 20 being the rights among other things to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, freedom of opinion and freedom of movement,” the petition reads.

The petition went on to cite “the torture and arrest of activists involved in protests since the 4th of May 2016” as a major reason why the UN must intervene to alleviate the country’s situation.

The petitioners further claim that violence was unleashed on members of social movements such as Navuz, #ThisFlag, #ThisFlower, #Tajamuka and OAUS.

According to the petition, the well-documented vicious assaults included the use of excessive force, tear smoke and water cannons.

The activists further complained of the, “kidnapping and abduction of activists, including Itai Dzamara and injecting abducted activists with an unknown substance, the unlawful banning of peaceful protests and assembly” claiming this also violates people’s rights.

Comments (6)

.thats tantamount to sanctioning an already sanction organisation.if u win then translate to more suffering of the masses

marwadzo - 18 October 2016

The masses are already suffering my dear. Go out into the rural areas then you will witness poverty at its worst.

felix - 19 October 2016

Marwadzo does not stay in zimbabwe, people are suffering bad. This govt needs bulldozers to go and we the people of Zimbabwe have to hire bulldozers to reed us of this corrupt government.

poritodo - 19 October 2016

Mugabe's fist rule needs international scruitynasation and dealt with .he is suppressing the mass to make himself on the presidential seat dumpening us to die a sheep's death by not allowed say out his failure.

majangara majangara - 19 October 2016

I think oppositon partties should be concentrating on educating pple on the importance of voting and getting rgstd to vote.90pcnt of opposition is unrgstd while the 10pcnt registered do not vote.its not about UN,DEMOS,its about voting overwhelmingly.there are margins unrigable.there is over 10m zimbos able to register and vote.i come frm a family of 10.Out of that only one is registered voter.the rest just complain and demonstrate.

NEVY - 21 October 2016

@NEVY you are behaving exactly like the other 9 members of your family. Charity begins at home. Educate your family to register to vote as well. Demos & complaining are a democratic right, just like voting. When combined these can positively change the country's future.

Sagitarr - 23 October 2016

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