The Government of Zimbabwe has committed to fighting terrorism and highly criminalizing terrorism offenders to protect Africa following a surge in terrorism cases on the continent.
Addressing the 78th Session of the Executive Committee and 44th Conference of Presidents of National Parliamentary Assemblies in Victoria Falls today, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga called on countries to review the current approach to counter-terrorism and also discuss the growing nexus between governance and the causes of terrorism.
“We are here to interrogate why the threat posed by terrorism and violent extremism seems to be growing despite concerted continental efforts to counter these tendencies. Going forward, you will agree with me that eradicating terrorism requires a firm commitment by the Member States to pursue common objectives against the scourge of terrorism. These include the exchange of information and mutual legal assistance in terrorism containment among others.
“We need to take heed of the United Nations Security Council Resolutions which call upon Member States to highly criminalize terrorism offenders with stiff punitive penalties which must be couched in our national laws in tandem with regional and international protocols against terrorism. By the same token, in consistence with Sustainable Development Goal 16A which calls for combating and preventing terrorism by 2030, we are enjoined to effectively discharge our oversight function towards the full implementation of the global counter-terrorism framework at both local and international levels,” he said.
Chiwenga urged Members of Parliament to formulate comprehensive and robust anti-terrorism laws and national budgets which will enable individual states in particular and the African continent to eliminate the scourge of terrorism and violent extremism.
“May I conclude by calling on this 77th session of the Executive Committee and the 44th conference of Presidents of National Parliamentary Assemblies to come up with strategies to counter terrorism and extreme violence within Africa. Such strategies should be aimed at addressing the current terrorist threats from groups such as Boko Haram in Nigeria, Al Shabaab in the Horn of Africa, and those terrorist groups destabilizing the economic investments in northern Mozambique, among others,” he added.
The interface of the African Parliamentary Union was held under the theme “The role of the African women in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism.”