Monday, 9 March 2020

DECLARE ZANU PF A TERRORIST ORGANISATION : PETITION


A LOCAL political activist has launched a “We the People of Zimbabwe” campaign to push the United States Congress to declare President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ruling Zanu PF party a terrorist organisation because of the deteriorating human rights situation in the country.

The movement, headed by a Zimbabwean only identified as CC, has launched a social media campaign to solicit for about 100 000 signatures by the end of March to compel the US to declare Zanu PF a terrorist organisation.

The US last week extended sanctions on Zimbabwe by another year following a spike in human rights violations by Mnangagwa’s government.

“We, the People of Zimbabwe, at home and abroad and the friends of the Citizens of Zimbabwe launch this appeal to Congress for an immediate intervention in Zimbabwe to avert genocide,” the petition read.

“We ask Congress to act now and pass a Bill to declare Zanu PF a terrorist organisation, to declare Mnangagwa an illegitimate President, to support Zimbabwean citizens and election reforms, to freeze all assets acquired by Zanu PF through corruption.”

Mnangagwa came to power in November 2017 on the back of a military coup and immediately promised political and economic reforms in order to get the country back to the international league of nations.

However, things fell apart after he deployed soldiers to quell post-election protests in August 2018, and fuel protests five months later in January last year that resulted in 23 extra-judicial killings.

The US last week said the sanctions were extended because Mnangagwa had failed to implement reforms.

Human rights lawyer Kudzayi Kadzere supported the petition, saying the ongoing violations by the security forces could not be divorced from Zanu PF. 

“Indeed, Zanu PF party behaves like a terrorist organisation as it caused untold suffering to the people of Zimbabwe. You cannot separate Zanu PF from its security superstructure made up of the army, police and CIO [Central Intelligence Organisation] together with the vigilante war veterans and paramilitary youths who have killed so many people in the country,”Kadzere said.

“The worst thing about the atrocities is the impunity and lack of accountability. None of the perpetrators have been brought to book and they are roaming the streets. This is likely to result in future massacres as there is no deterrence.”

Nelson Chamisa’s opposition MDC also threw its weight behind the petition.

“It (Zanu PF) is an organisation that believes in the massacre of those who do not believe in their ideology and apply terror as a weapon of recruitment and inflicting fear. A terrorist organisation believes in mass murder on anyone who does not believe in them. With this, you can find where you can locate Zanu PF,” MDC vice-chairperson Job Sikhala said.

But Information deputy minister Energy Mutodi rubbished the petition, describing it as “pure madness”.

“It is pure madness. No sane person can do that. It’s overzealousness and daydreaming behaviour,” he said.

Legal expert James Makiya said: “They (petitioners) cannot succeed in such an illegal declaration. Zimbabwe is a constitutional democracy supported by a defined electoral process. If they want to participate in elections, they should do so openly.” Newsday

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