By Mellisa Gombe
The alleged continuous human rights violations perpetrated against President Mnangagwa’s political opponents have attracted international attention likely to draw more punitive measures against the Second Republic.
When Mnangagwa grabbed power from late former president Robert Mugabe, with assistance from the military, he tried to re-engage with the West.
However, his efforts have yielded nothing, particularly with Britain, which has raised concern over the deteriorating human rights situation in the country. This comes at a time human rights, student and political activists in Zimbabwe are constantly being arrested and incarcerated on questionable charges.
Recent media reports indicate that the House of Lords in the United Kingdom raised a red flag and called for action on Harare after the arrest and detention of opposition MDC Alliance party leaders and activists in the past few weeks.
Boris Johnson’s administration recently slapped four Zimbabwean security officials with sanctions over alleged human rights abuses.
“We remain seriously concerned about the human rights situation in Zimbabwe. It is one of UK’s 30 human rights priority countries globally,” said UK Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, Tariq Mahmood Ahmad.
“We are concerned by the unacceptable pattern of arrests of prominent opposition and civil society figures. The Minister for Africa has regularly raised concern about the treatment of political opponents, most recently on March 29 in response to the harassment of opposition members Ms. (Joana) Mamombe, Ms. (Cecilia) Chimbiri, and Ms. (Netsai) Marova,” he said.
Last week, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition’s (CiZC) Gender Committee raised concerns regarding the persecution and continued detention of MDC Alliance activists, Mamombe and Chimbiri.
“We note with great concern that the State continues to use judicial capture as a weapon to victimise dissenting voices in the country,” said Margaret Mutsamvi, CiZC’s Gender Committee chairperson.
The committee also pointed with disdain to the alleged torture and sexual abuse they experienced at the hands of state security agents following their abduction and subsequent arrest.
They also decried the way Mamombe was reported to have been forcibly removed from hospital by a prison officer where she had gone for medical attention in violation of section 50 of the Constitution. Nhau/Indaba