Foreign missions condemn rights abuses in Zimbabwe
AFRİCA

Foreign missions condemn rights abuses in Zimbabwe

COVID-19 must not be used as excuse to restrict citizens' fundamental freedoms, say envoys of US, UK, Germany and 4 others

News Service AA

The heads of mission of Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, the UK, and the US have added their voice to the global condemnation of human rights abuses in Zimbabwe.

In a joint statement issued Friday, the envoys urged Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa to walk the talk, after pledging two years ago to work with all citizens.

“It is in this spirit that the Heads of Mission express their deep concern with the current political, economic, social, and health crisis that most Zimbabweans are facing today.

“The Heads of Mission stand by the people of Zimbabwe in their desire for a peaceful and prosperous democracy,” the joint statement read.

The mission heads noted that the government was criticizing almost everyone including the Catholic Bishops for raising their voices against human rights abuses.

Another opportunity that was presented by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to fix matters in the country was shot down when the envoys were denied access to other stakeholders.

“Zimbabwean people have the right to engage in dialogue to build a better future for the country but all the necessary discussions have so far been hindered by unhelpful rhetoric and blame assigned to several groups, including diplomatic missions and non-state actors,” they added.

Meanwhile, a call was made to stop using COVID-19 as an excuse to restrict fundamental freedoms to citizens, freedom of the press, of opinion and expression.

Last month several political activists and journalist Hopewell Chin’ono were arrested for calling for protests against the alleged government corruption following an expose of COVID-19 looting.

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