President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday sent a chilling warning to Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and pro-democracy leaders to stay in their lane.
This comes at a time the country’s political situation is deteriorating as several CSO leaders have been arrested for being critical of the government while some of them have taken to the streets to vent out their anger at the Mnangagwa administration for failing to improve the lives of ordinary citizens.
This comes as a serious dent to Mnangagwa’s re-engagement with the Western bloc. It also puts a question mark over the regime’s willingness to reform and abide by the International Monitory Fund (IMF), as the country continues to battle from an acute economic crisis, compounded by cash shortages.
Finance and Economic Development Minister, Mthuli Ncube has on several occasions claimed that the government is making headway with the IMF but the latest incidents might just make the financial institution rethink its position on Zimbabwe
Officiating at the launch of an anti-corruption campaign yesterday, Mnangagwa reminded CSOs that they have a mandate to respect the law.
“May I urge civil society to restrict themselves to their mandate. The rule of law observance is not needed for the purpose of pleasing other countries, we need it because it is proper for ourselves,” warned Mnangagwa.
Prior to his remarks, the head of the European Union Mission to Zimbabwe, Timo Olkkonen had bluntly told the president that Zimbabwe’s human rights abuse record is one to be frowned on and urged state institutions to respect the rule of law and the constitution.
He said recent events should be condemned and Zimbabwe should show its willingness to break away from the past.
“People’s civil rights, such as their rights to assembly and their right to peaceful demonstrations and petition, and also their right to acquire legal processes when they are suspected of crimes must be respected.
“Zimbabwe should show that it genuinely has made a break from the past,” said Olkkonen.
Abductions, arbitrary arrests of opposition members, torture and intimidation of CSOs have been the order of the day in the past few months with allegations that there are state agents being sent to silence Mnangagwa’s critics.
This has resulted in a war of words between Mnangagwa and the West, telling him to respect the rule of law.
Meanwhile, Presidential Advisor and cleric, Shingi Munyeza Thursday morning took to social media to vent out his disgust at the continued reports of abductions
“ABDUCTIONS, BEATINGS & TORTURE MUST STOP 1.I’m totally disgusted & alarmed by an unprecedented trend of abductions in our country 2. It’s worrying that the State has not come up with a position on stopping this 3. The State must protect its citizens & culprits brought to book,” he said.
This follows latest reports of the alleged abduction of comedian, Samantha Kureya better known as Gonyeti in the entertainment circles, who is widely known for producing satirical skits.
She was allegedly taken last night by armed men who beat her together with other family members.
She is said to have been found in one of the high-density suburb, Crowborough after being threatened with further unspecified actions