AU following developments in Zim  

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Mugove Tafirenyika and Blessings Mashaya

SENIOR STAFF WRITERS

THE African Union Commission (AUC) is following closely political developments in Zimbabwe and has warned the government against flouting its human rights charter.

In a statement, AUC chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat said he was concerned about reports of disproportionate use of force by security forces in enforcing Covid-19 emergency measures and implored the authorities to exercise restraint in the response to peaceful protests.
“Cognisant of the existing harsh socio-economic situation in the country…urges the Zimbabwe authorities to respond to the pandemic ensuring that the national response is premised on human rights as enshrined in the 1981 African Charter on Human and People’s Rights,” Faki said.
He encouraged Mnangagwa’s government to uphold the rule of law, allowing media freedom, freedom of assembly, freedom of association and right to information.
This comes at a time when AU chairperson  and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa had dispatched special envoys to Harare to find ways of assisting the country.
The envoys, former South Africa vice president Baleka Mbete; ex-ministers Sydney Mufamadi and Ngoako Ramatlhodi; and Pretoria’s ex-ambassador to Ethiopia, Ndumiso Ntshinga, met Mnangagwa.
It also comes as South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) said the party believed there were serious political problems in Zimbabwe warranting the regional power house’s intervention.
Leader of the opposition Congress Party in Botswana’s Parliament, Dumelang Saleshando, called on President Mokgweetsi Masisi to publicly condemn the alleged violations in Zimbabwe.
“We can no longer dismiss Zimbabwe’s abnormal state of affairs as their usual normal. In condemning the Zanu PF government and the use of its security apparatus against innocent citizens, we are appalled by the silence of our own government which has decided to bury its head in the proverbial sand by adopting a ‘see no evil … hear no evil’ posture,” Saleshando said.

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