Human rights abuses: Another massive blow for President Mnangagwa as his key ally attacks him

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THE National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) leader, Lovemore Madhuku, has accused President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s new dispensation of perpetuating the human rights abuses that happened under the late former President Robert Mugabe.

“It is a real notion which Mnangagwa has carried on, which says that if the majority is quiet, then we will beat you (the minority) up, we will arrest you.”

“Let us work on political reforms until we get to the next election. We support the idea of an all-stakeholder’s platform where we can have a continuous discussion, but this relates to those who are not political parties. Political parties must come to Polad,” he said.

Madhuku said the increase in human rights abuses in the country should be raised in the Polad platform.

Polad, a forum of fringe political parties that lost the 2018 elections was created by Mnangagwa. Madhuku is a senior member of that platform.

“I know that in the political environment, there are complaints of human rights abuses. I want to make it clear that as the NCA, we believe in human rights observance. We check whether the country is going by human rights observance.

“We do not look at the majority of the people; we look at the most active minority. You are judged in relation to that most active minority. It’s a matter of how you treat those people, and that is how your human rights observance is judged. Human rights are about respect for everyone, including those that are regarded as the minority.”

The NCA leader said Mnangagwa’s administration was mistaken in believing that human rights were only a preserve of the majority.

“I think the government is mistaken there, and this is coming from President Robert Mugabe’s legacy, which says if the majority are not complaining (you are observing human rights). You are (only) three or four people complaining,” he said.

Mugabe was removed by the military in a coup in November 2017. He later died in a Singapore hospital in 2019.

This comes after new MDC-T president Douglas Mwonzora on Friday snubbed a Polad meeting convened by Mnangagwa. It was the outfit’s first meeting following the MDC-T leadership changes.

Mwonzora’s spokesperson Witness Dube yesterday told The Standard that the new MDC-T leader did not attend the meeting because they preferred more inclusive dialogue beyond Polad.

“The MDC T president did not and will not attend Polad in its current form,” Dube said.

“We are canvassing for a broad-based dialogue which will include other stakeholders like churches, traditional leaders, labour bodies, student bodies, other political parties that did not have presidential candidates, captains of industry and all manner of Zimbabwean leadership in their diversity.”

He, however, claimed that MDC-T had not pulled out of Polad, saying Khupe had joined as a presidential candidate.

“We have not pulled out of Polad,” Dube said.

“Our understanding is that Thokozani Khupe went into the platform as a presidential candidate.

“MDC-T as a party is now going to sit and give a policy direction on its participation in Polad.

“Political, economic and structural conditions have drastically changed since the formation of Polad.

“So we now need a more enriched approach to national questions, which includes other stakeholders outside 2018 presidential candidates and their immediate parties.”

— NewsDay/The Standard


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