UK further discusses Zim abuses

As part of the inquiry into the country’s human rights abuses, at least four witnesses are tomorrow set to give evidence to the United Kingdom’s International Development Committee as the organisation explores possible steps that can be taken in response to recent developments in Zimbabwe.

This comes after several reports of human rights abuses following a recent three-day stay-away that turned violent resulting in clashes between security forces and protesters. There also was wanton looting and destruction of property worth thousands of dollars.

In the aftermath, several women claimed they were raped by members of the security forces. A number of people from the opposition were arrested, while others went into hiding fearing for their safety, following a serious crackdown, which also targeted members of the civil society.

According to the UK Parliament website, the International Development Committee is going to take evidence from the minister of Africa Harriett Baldwin and other witnesses on the recent violent crackdown by Zimbabwe security forces.

The other witnesses are Jocelyn Alexander, professor of Commonwealth Studies at the University of Oxford, Stephen Chan, professor of Politics and International Studies at SOAS at University of London, Simukai Chigudu, an associate professor of African Politics at University of Oxford, and Annabel Gerry, head of Department for International Development South Africa and Zimbabwe.

The committee is also going to explore on how the UK should respond to the recent crackdown in Zimbabwe.

“The International Development Committee is holding an urgent evidence session on the situation in Zimbabwe. Following the recent violent crackdown by Zimbabwe’s security forces, this session allows the Committee to explore how the UK and DFID in particular, should respond.

“The Committee will first hear from a panel of academic experts before questioning the minister for Africa, Harriet Baldwin MP, and the head of DFID Zimbabwe.”

This session comes as Baldwin also expressed concerns to UK parliamentarians over allegations against President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration, following the crackdown.

“The recent developments in Zimbabwe are cause for significant concern for Her Majesty’s government. 

“We believe that the response of the Zimbabwe security forces to protests against the petrol rise has been disproportionate and it’s been all too reminiscent of the darkest days of the (former Zimbabwe president Robert) Mugabe regime and we have been absolutely clear…these abuses and the failure to follow due process of law contravenes the fundamental tenets of international human rights standards and have absolutely no place in a democratic society. 

“It is vital that Zimbabwe’s political leaders focus on what is best for their people with all parties rejecting violence and upholding the rule of law,” Baldwin, said.

Labour MP Kate Hoey last week called for investigation of human rights abuses in the country, which she said should be led by the African Union or the United Nations (UN).

The UN has also condemned the violent crackdown by State security. 

“The United Nations is concerned over the recent spate of violence in Zimbabwe, leaving trails of destruction, looting, mass arrest and detention as well as reported physical violence, rape cases and sexual violence.”

    Comments (6)

    Set aside, that they had endorsed ED's regime after Catriona Lang's persistence, one hopes the discussions will culminate with an independent investigation on the government's response to the civil unrest. If the US did not arbitrarily arrest all found in the NY streets after 9/11 why should Zimbabwe kill and rape and sexually abuse its citizens after a few shops were looted.

    Sinyo - 4 February 2019

    The UK was 'hasty' in endorsing ED and now he is maiming and murdering his own folks with 'impunity'. A leopard will never change its spots as the elders say. He is the same bloke who spearheaded the massacre of thousands in Matebeland in the 80's and was never charged for it. The UK should withdraw this ill-timed endorsement and help the suffering people of this country.

    Socio - 4 February 2019

    "Hear from four witnesses"....What a charade! Dog and pony show as the Americans call it. Whitnesses who never set foot in Zimbabwe during and after the MDC inspired and led violence? These are all people based in the UK whose only sources of information are reports from the perpetrators of the violence. Until they interview both the criminals and the Zim Govt, this stage managed baby of MP Hoey should be dismissed - with contempt.

    Buns Tinobvinex - 4 February 2019

    UK has its own dirty linen under the clean cover. One of the reasons of brexiting is moving away from the EU court of Human rights. What it means is court appeals on those grounds , of which most cases affect ethnic minorities and disadvantaged communities will probably not be heard fairly, A case of a black person killed in custody by police officers in Scotland does not get any attention or sympathy at all , what more in future....well OK Scots never play by the rules , it's a wild , Or dealing with the legacy of the troubles across the water , where families have not got answers for over 45 years after the loss of their loved ones , of whom some were murdered partly by the state. Brexit also means less Irish rights in the UK , the truth we can not run away from , the potato famine of the 21st. Hopefully river lagan will be useful to the new fields , it cant be greener in dundalk.

    Human human wrongs - 4 February 2019

    Wouldnt it be a good idea to cut the development aid for overseas by £2Bn then use the funds to help poorer communities across the UK that are facing food and fuel poverty..? reduce terrorism and xenophobia on the Internet which is on the increase....and mugging too by whites facing hardships which has increased in the city. The crimes that will never be placed on record by the met.

    Charity at home. - 5 February 2019

    The people that endosed him were fully aware of the consequences. Its a smart strategy for the bigger plans. Muchadzidza rinhi matongerwo enyikar zhinji nevannhu ava ?.

    Zambia Congo highway - 6 February 2019

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