HomeNewsStop abductions, torture or face music: Former UN boss

Stop abductions, torture or face music: Former UN boss

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A FORMER United Nations Human Rights Commissioner (UNHRC) on Wednesday said the Zimbabwe government should stop abductions and torture of activists or face international isolation.

BY MOSES MATENGA

The former UNHCR boss, Mary Robinson, who is currently the chairperson of The Elders, an independent group of global leaders working together for peace, told delegates during the third national citizens’ convention in Harare that Zimbabwe needed dialogue, solidarity, inclusivity, transparency, accountability and rule of law if it is to get out of its current human rights and economic crisis.

“As you know, this can only be done if the rule of law is upheld, human rights are respected and no impunity is afforded to those behind abductions, torture, perversion of the course of justice, and violence,” Robinson said.

“COVID-19 has turned all our worlds upside down, and it is only through our collective endeavours that we can fight the pandemic and restore our nations to stability and prosperity,” she said.

Robinson, who is former President of Ireland last spoke in Zimbabwe in 2018 at the Harare Gardens alongside the late former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan who was also a member of the group.

“Kofi stood steadfast in his support of the Zimbabwean people, their rights and freedoms to the very end of his life, and the words he said on that day still ring true now.

At the time, Annan had said: “Rebuilding Zimbabwe will be the work of the nation, a nation made up not just of politicians, but also of professionals, of traders, students, workers, a nation of men and women like you. Politics is too important to be left to the politicians.”

Robinson said the situation in Zimbabwe had deteriorated, and further worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown period whereby there was no economic
activity.

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