AUC Chairperson urges authorities in Zimbabwe to uphold the rule of law and protect human rights

Addis Abba, Ethiopia: . The Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), Moussa Faki Mahamat is following closely political developments in Zimbabwe as the country mounts concerted efforts in response to the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa (left) and President Emmerson Mnangagwa

Cognisant of the existing harsh socio-economic situation in the country, the Chairperson
urges the Zimbabwe authorities to respond to the pandemic ensuring that the national
response is premised on human rights as enshrined in the 1981 African Charter on
Human and Peoples’ Rights. The Chairperson is concerned about reports of
disproportionate use of force by security forces in enforcing COVID-19 emergency
measures. He implores the authorities to exercise restraint in their response to peaceful

The Chairperson further encourages the government of Zimbabwe to uphold the rule of
law allowing for freedom of the media, freedom of assembly, freedom of association and
the right to information. Violations of these rights are a breach of the African Charter on
Human and Peoples’ Rights and the 2007 African Charter on Democracy, Elections and

In this regard, the Chairperson welcomes the appointment by South African President
and current Chair of the Union, HE Cyril Ramaphosa of two special envoys to
Zimbabwe, namely former Cabinet Minister Dr Sydney Mufamadi and former Speaker of
Parliament Ms Baleka Mbete, both from South Africa.

The Chairperson reaffirms the African Union’s commitment and support to the
government and people of Zimbabwe in their endeavour to deepen democracy in
the country, in line with the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and

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