ZimRights implores Sadc to press govt over Harare shootings

THE Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) has implored Sadc to issue an ultimatum on President-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government to explain the fatal shooting of at least seven civilians by the military on August 1 following the July 30 disputed polls.

BY OBEY MANAYITI

Various civic society groups who made their presentations at the 38th Sadc People’s Summit in Namibia challenging the regional bloc to develop teeth and pin Zimbabwe’s leadership on the gross violations of people’s rights.

Their consolidated position will be presented at the 38th Sadc summit at the weekend which will be attended by the heads of State and government.

At least seven people died while many others were seriously injured after the military opened fire in Harare during a protest over the delay in announcing presidential results by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.

In an interview yesterday, ZimRights director Okay Machisa said in their presentation they made it clear that Sadc must stamp its authority and demand a timeline by which Zimbabwe leadership will comprehensively account for the shootings.

“Zimbabwe should be given an ultimatum of investigating how the military ended up killing civilians and that the report should be made public and there is need for Sadc to give a timeframe by which this matter will be concluded,” Machisa said.

“We have also made a recommendation that Zimbabwe as of now is a divided country because of the disputed elections of July 30 and that it is important, whatever happens outside the courts, there is need for a serious effort towards uniting the country, otherwise there will be chaos in our country.

“Sadc should seriously look at issues of demilitarising State institutions in Zimbabwe. As the people’s summit, we have realised that there is a process brewing within the region where the State is killing its people within the auspices that they are trying to protect the same people.”

Machisa said Sadc must not be seen to set a bad precedence of protecting the interests of incumbents, even in instances where there were disputes.

Another human rights activist Nkosilathi Moyo charged that the regional bloc must not fold hands when gross human rights violations were being committed.


“The ruling party is not showing any remorse on the killings of innocent civilians. Elections are disputed and the MDC Alliance is raising issues on how the elections were manipulated, but at the same time, their agents are being victimised and a lot of those people are now in hiding,” Moyo said.

“If Zanu PF had won the elections, why are people being killed and tortured? The issue of Zimbabwe is a serious matter and Sadc must show leadership by ensuring democracy is respected.

“It’s high time that Sadc develops some teeth and make sure that the rule of law is observed,” he said.

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