‘The buck stops with you, President Mnangagwa’


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LEADING human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa has implored President Emmerson Mnangagwa to exercise his constitutional mandate by ensuring the judicious investigation and arrest of those behind the recent reported abduction, torture and sexual abuse of three women activists.

The trio, who are MDC Alliance activists include Harare West legislator Joanna Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova.

They are now at a hospital in Harare following torture ordeals they were subjected to after allegedly being  abducted by suspected state security agents last week after holding a flash demonstration over the government’s failure to provide for the vulnerable during the country’s Covid-19 lockdown.

However, in response to the issue during the burial of late Zanu PF politburo member Absolom Sikhosana at the National Heroes Acre yesterday, Mnangagwa blasted those holding demonstrations against his government and endanger lives at a time the country was battling the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I once again draw the attention of the nation to the invisible enemy that has visited us in the form of coronavirus, also known as Covid-19,” he said.

“I will end my remarks by reminding us to remain united and keep the peace. We must never endanger the lives of our people through illegal, reckless and unwarranted demonstrations for political grandstanding.”

In her letter to Mnangagwa Mtetwa said, as the head of all government institutions in Zimbabwe, the buck stopped with him.

“In particular, you appointed the Commander of our Defence Forces, the Commissioner General of our Zimbabwe Republic Police, the Minister in Charge of our State Security, the Director General of Our Central Intelligence Organisation.

“All four appointees are supposed to be non-partisan and to protect Zimbabweans from both external and internal attacks on their persons, property, integrity and to at all times ensure that rights granted by the Constitution are enjoyed by all.

However, said Mtetwa, instead of protecting the three young women, there was violation of their persons and rights in the most despicable of ways.

According to Mtetwa, her concerns were also that of a mother of children, including a daughter who could easily have been anyone of the three young women “so despicably abused by agents of your appointees.”

The rights lawyer said the gendered nature of the violations appeared to be designed to dissuade women from participating in opposition politics.

Meanwhile, government has announced that it has instituted a full-scale investigation over the alleged abduction of three MDC Alliance members.

Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe said this recently at a joint press conference with Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga.

See Mtetwa’s letter in full




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