A senior Zimbabwean government official has rejected criticism by the United Nations that the country is a serious violator of human rights.
UN human rights experts including the special rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman treatment or punishment, Nils Melzer and special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression Clement Nyaletsossi Voule, who visited Zimbabwe in September last year, accused the government of targeting activists.
In response to the claims, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Nick Mangwana said:
“We are observing human rights and investigating any case of disappearances including staged ones. We have never stopped anyone from coming to observe anything in this country since the inception of the new dispensation. But I guess they have already arrived at their pre-emptive conclusions so they will have to overcome a lot of confirmation bias challenges.”
The UN’s comments come when the government is accused of using security agents to abduct, torture and se_xually assault Joana Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova, all MDC Alliance officials.
Government officials claim the abduction was staged to taint its image.