Regional lawyers have accused President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration of creating an environment of fear among citizens through wanton violation of people’s rights. The Southern African Development Community–Lawyers Association (SADC-LA), in a statement issued on Tuesday, noted the deterioration of human rights situation in Zimbabwe and urged authorities to adhere to the rule of law and constitutionalism.
By NQOBANIN NDLOVU
According to the SADC-LA, the government is to blame for the deterioration of the human rights situation.“SADC-LA hereby implores the government of Zimbabwe to adhere to due process and demonstrably observe the rule of law. It is trite that justice must not only be done but that justice must be seen to be done,” the SADC-LA council and executive committee said.
“SADC-LA notes that this status quo and its continued deterioration is a grave violation of human rights, affront to the rule of law and separation of powers doctrine. It has created a palpable state of trepidation among law abiding citizens. This is not permissive of full and or reasonable exercise of human rights under the Constitution of Zimbabwe and the Universal declaration of human rights.”
Political temperatures have been rising as July 31, the day announced for anti-government demonstrations, edges closer with the ruling Zanu PF party urging its supporters to respond with violence.
The opposition and human rights groups report that their members have either survived kidnap attempts or been abducted and tortured and left for dead in recent days as Zanu PF attempts to frustrate plans to protest against poverty, corruption and misrule.
But the lawyers singled out peace, stability, respect for human rights and rule of law as the foundations for a functioning economy and hope for Zimbabweans to be freed from the clutches of poverty and economic ruin.
Government and Zanu PF have accused civic groups and foreign powers, particularly the United States of stoking anti-government tensions, with the ruling party describing the US ambassador to Zimbabwe, Brian Nichols as a thug, triggering diplomatic tension between Harare and Washington.