Britain has called on the Zimbabwean government to stop human rights abuses against its citizens saying it has noted with concern the heavy-handed response by authorities to peaceful and lawful demonstrators, and violence against opposition parties and social activists.
Police have fired teargas or used water cannons to disperse peaceful demonstrators as opposition parties and civil activists took to the streets to call on President Robert Mugabe to step down to stop the economic decay the country is facing.
Mugabe argues that he has a mandate to fulfill as his current term ends in 2018. His party has already endorsed him as the candidate for the next presidential elections.
Former Finance Minister Simba Makoni has blamed the weak and divided opposition for worsening the crisis and has urged the opposition parties to come up with a coalition by the end of this month.
The Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front is holding its annual conference in Masvingo in 10 days, but this is not an elective congress though one province is pushing for a resolution to strip Mugabe of his powers to appoint his deputies.
The resolution, which is being disputed, came from Mashonaland Central home of the party’s national commissar Saviour Kasukuwere and is apparently being pushed by his brother Dick Mafios.
Mashonaland Central is also home of Zimbabwe People First leader Joice Mujuru who used to rule the roost in the province before she was kicked out of ZANU-PF.
Q & A:
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Shadow Spokesperson (Health), Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Lords- To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the treatment of Zimbabwean citizens by the government of Zimbabwe.
Baroness Anelay of St Johns Minister of State, Deputy Speaker (Lords)- In recent weeks we have noted with increasing concern the heavy-handed response of the authorities to peaceful and lawful demonstrators, and violence against opposition parties and social activists. We regularly call upon the Zimbabwean Government to end human rights abuses and restore internationally accepted standards. On 18 November our Ambassador and EU Heads of Mission in Harare issued a statement expressing concern at the increase in incidents, in violation of the fundamental human rights and freedoms enshrined in Chapter 4 of the Constitution.