Harare – ZIMBABWE has been urged to respect the rights of citizens to hold protests after police used violence to foil planned demonstrations organised by the opposition against President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration.
In a joint statement, envoys from the European Union, France, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Romania, Sweden, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and the United States of America (USA) raised concern over the country’s human rights record.
“Intimidation, harassment and physical attacks on human rights defenders, trade union and civil society representatives, and opposition politicians – prior to, during and following the demonstration in Harare on 16 August – are cause for great concern,” the heads of mission said on Tuesday.
“The Heads of Mission call on the authorities to respect the constitutional rights to freedom of assembly, association and expression as well as to peaceful protest, and urge all political party leaders and supporters to abstain from threats and incitement to violence as well as acts of violence or vandalism.
“The security forces must adhere to their Constitutional mandate and exercise restraint and proportionality while maintaining public order.”
Zimbabwe’s opposition has called a series of anti-poverty protests while also blaming Mnangagwa’s administration for failure to craft policies aimed at arresting the dire economic situation facing long suffering countrymen.
A number of protesters were arrested on Friday in the capital, Harare while several others were left nursing injuries resulting from the beatings from state security organs.