As SADC leaders meet in Livingstone, Zambia, from Thursday Human Rights Watch urged them to no longer just stand by and watch as the situation in the country deteriorates.
The myriad criminal charges brought against MDC officials and activists seem to be politically motivated, Daniel Bekele, the Africa director at Human Rights Watch, said Tuesday. They indicate that ZANU-PF has resorted to its old campaign tactics of suppressing political opponents by harassment and intimidation.
At the SADC meeting, South Africas President Jacob Zuma, the SADC facilitator of Zimbabwes Global Political Agreement is expected to report back on the status of the agreement and progress by the parties to carry out key political reforms, something the MDC and Zimbabwean civil rights organisations say has still not yet been done, accusing Mugabe of throwing spanners into the works.
Zumas report will be made to the SADCs Organ on Politics, Defense and Security Cooperation, also referred to as the troika. As Zimbabwe prepares for elections, ZANU-PF and the security forces are again harassing human rights activists and MDC members and SADC leaders should no longer just stand by and watch as the situation in the country deteriorates, added Bekele
The inclusive government has recently been racked by disagreement, as the two MDC factions, in particular, have grown frustrated with their lack of power in the government. ZANU-PF controls the military, the security sector, and all major governmental appointments. In December 2010 President Mugabe declared that he and ZANU-PF were ready to leave the power-sharing government and run for elections.
In recent months, Zimbabwes security forces have intensified harassment and arbitrary arrests of human rights activists and MDC officials and supporters and Bekele said SADC leaders should not tolerate ZANU-PFs endemic abuse against civil society.
They should insist on tangible human rights improvements in Zimbabwe before any elections are held, added the HRW official. The myriad criminal charges brought against MDC officials and activists seem to be politically motivated. They indicate that ZANU-PF has resorted to its old campaign tactics of suppressing political opponents by harassment and intimidation.Post published in: Politics