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SADC Urged to Tackle Zimbabwe Crisis

FILE: Armed Zimbabwean police beat alleged rioters in Harare, Monday, July, 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) has expressed outrage over the Zimbabwean government's heavy handedness in dealing with protests that have gripped the nation.

The organization, which held a week-long meeting in Johannesburg, accused Harare of failing to uphold the civil and political liberties of citizens as enshrined in the country's constitution.

FIDH said the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Summit currently in session in Swaziland should call President Robert Mugabe to order, noting that his government is using the dreaded Public Order and Security Act (POSA) to suppress dissenting voices in the country.

FIDH director for Africa, Tcherina Jerolon, said the government of Zimbabwe should stop brutalizing its citizens.

“We are very worried about human rights abuses. The government of Zimbabwe should respect the rights of the people as enshrined in the country’s constitution and other international laws and regulations …”

FIDH said Zimbabwe’s decision to arrest Tajamuka-Sesijikile Campaign leader Promise Mkwananzi and other political activists are indications that the country does not respect the fundamental rights of local people.

Zimrights chairperson, Passmore Nyakureba, echoed the same sentiments saying SADC leaders are supposed to tackle the Zimbabwe crisis amid concerns that the police are breaking the law as they are normally beating up protesters indiscriminately.

“We are very clear about what we want as SADC. They must stop the government from abusing its citizens through using the police to beat up protesters. Police should stop beating up people.”

Human rights activist Lidia Shezi of South Africa echoed the same sentiments, noting that Zimbabweans should not give up in fighting for their rights despite being brutalized by the police.

“ … They should never lose hope … Youth should unite and fight against all forms of oppression. It’s a constitutional right to go on strike as long as it is done peacefully.