CSOs red flag weaponisation of law

Peter Mutasa

CIVIL groups, churches and students yesterday voiced concern over the abuse of the rule of law.

Addressing a joint Press conference in Harare, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiCZ) president Peter Mutasa said the country’s human rights situation continued to deteriorate.

“We are extremely disturbed by a continuing pattern whereby human rights defenders who have justifiably spoken out against mis-governance have been victims of this oppression which is reminiscent of the colonial era. The CiZC continues to note with huge concern the weaponisation of the law enforcement by the government to clamp down on human rights,” Mutasa said.

“Attempts to amend the Private Voluntary Organisations Act point is a well-coordinated attempt to further shrink the democratic space in Zimbabwe through abusing recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force”

Zimbabwe Divine Destiny bishop Ancelimo Maguya said the government had gone into overdrive to shrink the democratic space.

“President (Emmerson) Mnangagwa’s government has gotten into overdrive of blatant violations ranging from shamelessly appointing Zanu PF members and relatives as Zec [Zimbabwe Electoral Commission] commissioners, sponsoring violence through Zanu PF structures, disrupting prayer meetings, arbitrary and persecution of journalists”, he said.

National Transitional Justice Working Group NTGWG coordinator Fortune Kuhudzehwe also raised concern over alleged politicisation of court processes.

“Over the years, the Forum has observed the worrying trend in which politically-charged cases are given different treatments with any other cases even when they share a common charge. The resultant feeling is that bail is manipulated and used as a political weapon to punish politically undesirable people,” Kuhudzehwe said.

“Further concern is the issue of legislating patriotism and the obvious question is: How do you legislate patriotism, how do you legislate someone to love their country?”