from MARCUS MUSHONGA in Harare, Zimbabwe
HARARE, (CAJ News) – THE Zimbabwean government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa is being accused of failing to live up to its promises for change and break with the brutal human rights legacy of predecessor, Robert Mugabe.
Amnesty International reiterated the accusation, weeks after an election marred with human rights violations.
Human Rights under Attack: A Review of Zimbabwe’s Human Rights Record in the Period 2018-2023, details how authorities have systematically suppressed peaceful dissent, making it increasingly challenging for people to freely express their opinions.
The briefing also describes a disturbing trend towards the militarization of policing and a rise in the use of excessive force by law enforcement during protests.
Amnesty said it found that individuals who speak out or organize protests often face persecution. In some cases, relatives of protesters have been targeted and harassed as a way of intimidating activists. Abduction of human rights defenders and activists has also been on the rise.
“The Mnangagwa administration has lost a historic opportunity to right the wrongs of the past and, instead, has ramped up efforts to suppress human rights,” said Khanyo Farisè, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Southern Africa.
The activist said the cyclical nature of violence would continue until there is genuine political will to uphold human rights and end impunity.
“The Zimbabwean government must make genuine efforts to deal with the past injustices to ensure that history does not repeat itself,” Farisè said.
Under the Mugabe administration, authorities amended existing legislation or introduced new laws with the excuse of protecting national security or facilitating access to information, to target dissenting views and groups, and limit the space for political debate.
More recently, authorities are accused of following similar repressive practices.
Mnangagwa came into power after Mugabe, now late, was ousted in a coup in 2017. He won disputed elections a year later.
– CAJ News