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‘Shameless’ Zim Govt Fails To Commit To Human Rights Protection

The Zimbabwean government has been castigated following its decision to vote No to the responsibility to protect and the prevention of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity.

Together with other countries such as North Korea, Burundi, China, and Bolivia, whose human rights stance is questionable, Zimbabwe failed to commit to protecting its citizens from all forms of harm, leading to many questioning president Emmerson Mnangagwa’s sincerity in being held accountable for his actions.

Named the List of Shame’ by the United Nations Watch, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) that monitors, defends human rights, and fights dictatorships and double standard, the Mnangagwa administration came under fire for being “reckless”

The resolution to the Right to protect was adopted with 115 countries including neighboring South Africa and Botswana.

The United Nations said the responsibility to protect [R2P] platform “remains the most effective principle around which the international community can coalesce when vulnerable populations face the threat of atrocity crimes. R2P is a promise to those people for whom genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity are not abstract words, but real acts that pose an existential threat to them, their loved ones, and their communities.”

Former Foreign Affairs Minister, Walter Mzembi weighed in saying the country has missed an opportunity to rebrand itself through Mnangagwa’s New Dispensation and open for business rhetoric.

“An opportunity for Zimbabwe to Rebrand itself and affirm its “New Dispensation” tag has been missed, Nothing New! Zimbabwe could have abstained if it felt so strongly about this matter because there are too many things to balance including avoiding Debranding the government and country,” Mzembi said.

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MDC Alliance leader, Nelson Chamisa described the decision as tragic and unacceptable.

“Zimbabwe’s NO vote is tragic and unacceptable. This is scandalous! We must and will correct this,” Chamisa said.

Since assuming power in 2017, Mnangagwa has been on a drive to have Zimbabwe’s genocide, the Gukurahundi, to be addressed through the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC).

However, very little has been done to address the issue and hold those responsible to account. Mnangagwa and then president, the late Robert Mugabe stand accused of being the kingpins behind the atrocities which reportedly killed more than 20 000 people in the 1980s.

Lawyer and MDC Alliance Treasurer, David Coltart said his party will remove the country from the list when in power.

“Zimbabweans these are the countries whose governments voted against a UN resolution on the responsibility to protect and prevention of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. This is a list of shame. The MDC Alliance will remove #Zimbabwe from this list,” he said.

Coltart further stated that the ruling party, Zanu-PF has: “Linked our great Nation to this list of countries run by despicable regimes. I dream of a new #Zimbabwe in which we can hold our heads up high with the Nations who care about human rights & the dignity of all people.”

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ZimRights Executive Director, Dzikamai Bere told 263Chat that the No vote exposes Mnangagwa’s government’s lack of ethical leadership and sincerity to people’s rights.

“This is a very unfortunate development that exposes our government but at a deeper level, it tells us what is wrong with our governance system. What is wrong is the lack of ethical leadership. This resolution looks at protecting the common man through the responsibility to protect,” Bere noted.

He added that the Zanu-PF leadership is not concerned about protecting the people but consolidating power and protecting their own political interests.

“If we have leaders who oppose these kinds of resolutions, it exposes a crisis of ethical leadership. We are looking at leadership that is more concerned about protecting itself and securing itself in power rather than protecting the people on the ground.

“It is a crisis of values, which means human rights are not a priority to us and this is very clear from how the government’s human rights policy has been executed in the New Dispensation tied to the Constitutional amendments,” Bere said.

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Multi-award winning journalist/photojournalist with keen interests in politics, youth, child rights, women and development issues. Follow Lovejoy On Twitter @L_JayMut

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