President and first secretary of the ZANU PF Party Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa has castigated the EU head of delegation for using the wrong platform to advance the human rights agenda.
Officially launching the Anti-Corruption awareness campaign by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission ZACC and the National Prosecution Authority NPA, Cde Mnangagwa could not hide his displeasure at the EU Head of Delegation for taking advantage of the platform to speak outside the given agenda.
In a joint statement released on the 20th of August 2019, on respect for human rights and freedom of assembly the missions highlighted that intimidation, harassment and physical attacks on human rights defenders, trade union and civil society representatives and opposition leaders prior to, during and following the demonstrations in Harare 16 August are cause for great concern.
The Head of Missions of the EU namely France, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Romania, Sweden and the United Kingdom and the Heads of Mission for Australia, Canada and the United States of America released the statement.
They added that the Constitution of Zimbabwe guarantees the right to personal security from violence and prohibits physical or psychological torture. They urged the authorities to respect these fundamental rights and to hold perpetrators of violence legally responsible.
Even despite the press release by the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcast Services in which the government registered its displeasure on the EU Head of Missions statement, the EU Head of Delegation felt this would be another appropriate platform to air his views and that of his colleagues.
He further highlighted that Cde Mnangagwa had not shown commitment to upholding to the rule of law.
“My diplomatic mission together with some others were recently accused of ignoring the importance of upholding the constitution and rule of law. I can assure you Your Excellency nothing could be further from the truth. Unfortunately we are witnessing these days several developments that put constitutionalism and respect for the rule of law in question. People’s civic rights such as the right to assembly and the right to peacefully demonstrating their position and the right to view in legal processes when suspected of crimes must be respected. Zimbabwe should genuinely show their break from the past.”
However Cde Mnangagwa brought him to order and told him about the sovereignty of Zimbabwe.
“It is imperative that these partners should conduct themselves with integrity for the collective good of our people. Your Excellency you referred to human rights but however this platform was for corruption. May I urge civil society must restrict themselves to their mandate. The rule of law observance is not needed for the purposes of pleasing other countries. We need it because it is proper for ourselves,” Cde Mnangagwa said.
“The Second Republic has brought about enhanced democratic space. It is for the good of our people. The few abuse the democratic space. The rule of law will apply.”