No amnesty for rights violators: ZINASU

torture_victimHARARE All perpetrators of political violence and rights abuses must be brought to justice if Zimbabwe is to avoid a ......
(Pictured: The back of a man tortured with molten plastic Political violence and human rights abuses are routine in Zimbabwe)

recurrence of violence and other political crimes in future elections, the Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) has said.

Tafadzwa Mugwadi, elected to head ZINASU at the unions congress held recently in Chinhoyi, called for a fresh national reconciliation programme driven by all stakeholders and urged Zimbabweans to resist any attempts by the three governing political parties to grant amnesty to people who committed violence and other crimes in the name of politics.

Mugwadi said the ZINASU congress resolved that property looted from opposition supporters during the run-up to the June 2008 presidential run-off election should be returned to rightful owners.

Congress resolved that attempts to have blanket amnesty of all the violators of human rights through the national healing process anchored by the GPA parties must and should be resisted, he said.

Mugwadi said while Zimbabwe was clearly in transition from years of virtual one-party rule by President Robert Mugabes Zanu (PF) party, there was need for students and civic society to remain on guard and ensure that the objectives of the democratic struggle of the past decade are fulfilled.

The students should remain the watchdog that should be prepared to bite anyone who compromises the revolutionary principles for personal expediency, he said.

Mugwadi said the new ZINASU leadership would push for meaningful democratic reforms including legislative reforms, media reforms, electoral reforms, human rights laws and in particular the repealing of POSA and AIPPA which he said had hampered the efforts to build a robust student leadership.

Zimbabwes army and police are accused of waging a ruthless campaign of violence to force then opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai to withdraw from the June 27 second round presidential poll that analysts had strongly tipped him to win.

Tsvangirai had beaten Mugabe in the first round ballot held in March 2008 but failed to achieve outright victory to avoid the second round run-off poll.

The former foes eventually bowed to pressure from Southern African Development Community (SADC) community leaders to agree to form a government of national unity that analysts say remains the best opportunity in a decade for Zimbabwe to end its multi-faceted crisis.

Meanwhile, ZINASU says it will step up campaigns against the stop-start Parliament-led constitutional reform process that the student union and its civic allies say is not people driven and has been hijacked by politicians.

Mugwadi said ZINASU working with the National Constitutional Assembly and the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions would mobilise Zimbabweans to reject any draft constitution written by parliamentarians in a referendum expected later this year.

The inclusive government should cease forthwith the constitutional reform process because it is neither people-driven nor democratic. It is a process determined, controlled and driven by politicians, Mugwadi said.

Mugwadi took over as ZINASU President from Clever Bere, but the students movement has split into two rival unions. Lovemore Chinoputsa and Brilliant Dube lead the other student union that supports parliament-led constitutional reforms.

Post published in: Politics

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