Sunday 26 November 2023


President Emmerson Mnangagwa has been threatened with a lawsuit for failing to hold accountable members of the security forces accused of human rights violations including killing civilians.

Mnangagwa last year signed into law the Zimbabwe Independent Complaints Commission Act providing for the investigation and prosecution of members of security services for misconduct.

This followed complaints of human rights abuses and reports of alleged partisan conduct by members of the security forces in the discharge of their duties.

Mnangagwa has, however, been delaying to appoint commissioners of the Independent Complaints Commission (ICC), raising eyebrows over his sincerity and political will to act on human rights violations involving the security forces.

On Friday, the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) gave him a November 30 deadline to provide answers or face court action.

"We have given him up to November 30 to ensure that he complies with the provisions of the constitution," the ZLHR said in a press statement.

In a letter addressed to Mnangagwa by ZLHR lawyer Kossam Ncube on behalf of Nesbert Munyuki, a Harare resident, the president was accused of violating section 6 of the Independent Complaints Commission Act.

"This failure and the delay to appoint commissioners renders the essence of the protection of members of the public as provided for in section 210 of the constitution nugatory, as the complaints mechanism is compromised by the fact that President Mnangagwa’s Office has not fulfilled its statutory mandate of appointing commissioners to deal with complaints filed against delinquent members of the security services," Ncube said in the letter.

Ncube said his client would pursue remedies available at law to ensure that his grievances were addressed.

Political analyst Romeo Chasara said there was no political will to hold members of the security forces accountable for their actions.

"The government has shown time and time again that it is not willing to take action against members of the security forces who commit human rights abuses,” Chasara said.

Zimbabwe has continued to hog international headlines over human rights abuses. In recent months, there have been reports of arbitrary arrests, detentions including abductions and torture by suspected members of the security forces.

The government has denied these allegations, but human rights groups have called for an independent investigation. Standard



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