US senators blast Zim govt

HARARE - United States senators Jeff Flake and Chris Coons — who are both members of Washington’s influential Senate Foreign Relations Committee — have blasted the government over the heavy handedness of the security agents on protestors.

This comes after Zimbabweans heeded the call by the militant ZCTU to stay-away from work for three days in protest of current economic meltdown and the recent fuel price hikes however, the protest ended violently.

Hundreds of people claimed both police and soldiers had launched door-to-door campaigns in high density suburbs which security agents viewed as hotbeds for violence.

In Harare, among these were Mabvuku, Tafara, Kuwadzana, Dzivaresekwa, Highfield, some parts of Glen Norah, Budiriro, Mufakose, Epworth and the sprawling town of Chitungwiza.

Victims said the security forces zeroed on men who were viewed as instigators of the violence which broke out in the capital city and Bulawayo on Monday.

In a statement yesterday, Flake and Coons said the security agents must stop harassing people.

“Government officials and security forces must respond with professionalism and respect for human rights and the rule of law. 

“We also call on the Government of Zimbabwe to rescind the directive ordering communication service providers to cut or restrict access to social media, Internet, and telephone services. Such abrogations of constitutional and basic legal rights are not what the people of Zimbabwe were promised under President (Emmerson) Mnangagwa.”

“… Instead, the government should work to meet the basic economic and social needs of its people. 

“We strongly urge the Zimbabwean authorities to resolve the current situation through dialogue and non-violent, fully legal means, and for protesters to exercise their constitutional rights peacefully.

“Under no circumstances should the Zimbabwean government disregard the constitutional rights of its citizens, engage in the illegal suppression of expression and assembly, or employ the disproportionate use of force or extralegal violence to respond to the current situation.”

Zimbabwe is currently under US economic sanctions which were imposed for failure to respect human rights.

Prior to the last year, the Donald Trump administration had made it clear that it would wait for Mnangagwa to fulfil his reform promises before it can put a seal of approval on his government.

Following the deadly violence that rocked Harare on August 1 last year, the US through its embassy in the country, expressed concern over government’s failure to respect basic human rights.

With former president Robert Mugabe out of the way following his ouster by the military last year, Mnangagwa as the successor has promised to deliver social, economic and political reforms.

Ahead of the just-ended polls, he invested a lot into international re-engagement following decades of isolation but the latest developments have dented prospects of his re-engagement efforts.


Comments (4)

I think it is time for the Chiwenga - Mnangagwa regime to choose whether they are a full military dictatorship or constitutional democracy. Gentleman you cannot be both! Pure and simple.

New Dispensation - 19 January 2019

Very simple and clear warning by people who matter the most when it comes to the lifting of sanctions. ED does not need to spend millions in those foreign jaunts but just by simply implementing promised economic and socio-political reforms trillions in FDI will trickle in. This warning by the us Senators is testimony the world has its eyes and ears on the ground and is very much alive to whats obtaining here.

Sinyo - 19 January 2019

What kind of nonsense is this? Jeff Flake resigned from the US Senate in December 2018. He is no longer on the Foreign Relations Committee. Do you just make up your own news? FAKE NEWS?

Buns Tinobvinex - 19 January 2019

These fake human rights activists are concerned about violent protesters' safety and do not care about the safety of the peaceful Zimbabweans being inconvenienced by the violent protesters .

Hayibo - 19 January 2019

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