from NDABENI MLOTSHWA in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
BULAWAYO, (CAJ News) – THE Zimbabwean government has come under criticism for inviting King Mswati III of Eswatini to officially open the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF).
He is to open the premier business show scheduled for the second capital, Bulawayo, until Saturday.
The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) disapproved the move by the government of President Emmerson Mnangagawa.
“King Mswati III is a soiled leader with the blood of innocent citizens killed for legitimately demanding elections based on one person one vote, and not selections in that Ngwane Kingdom,” stated Obert Msaraure, CiZC spokesperson.
He was referring to the political problems in Eswatini where government is accused of brutalizing pro-democracy activists.
Eswatini is accused of deploying the military to shoot at civilians, jailing hundreds, injuring thousands and killing many, including lawyer Thulani Maseko.
“As progressive Zimbabweans, we do not welcome such a despot and his presence in the country is an affront to the values of democracy and human rights,” Masaraure said.
CiZC believes by welcoming the absolute monarch, Mnangagwa is being complicit in the continued violence and oppression in Eswatini.
“As leaders of the Southern African region, they have a responsibility to uphold democratic values and human rights for all citizens,” Msaraure said.
“It is sad to note that Zimbabwe and Eswatini have been identified as countries of specific concern due to serious human rights abuses.”
The government is also accused of human rights violations, worst the killing of thousands of minorities in a campaign to root out dissidents after independence.
“What saddens us most is welcoming a ruthless and unaccountable leader to Bulawayo, itself a hub of unresolved injustices where an estimated 20,000 civilians were killed by a similarly unaccountable and unapologetic government in the 1980s,” Masaraure said.
Yearly, Zimbabwe invites a foreign head of state to open ZITF.
– CAJ News