By Darlington Gatsi
A HUMAN rights group has slammed President Emmerson Mnangagwa led government for failing to investigate abuses that were allegedly perpetrated by Zanu PF supporters and security forces against opposition figures.
The global rights group, Human Rights Watch (HRW) recently released its World report which accused the government of human rights abuses which shrunk the democratic spaces before, during and after general elections.
“The climate of threats, intimidation, repression, and violence against political opponents severely undermined the electoral environment.
“The government’s failure to investigate and prosecute abuses primarily committed by ruling ZANU-PF party supporters and state security forces entrenched the culture of impunity, especially ahead of the August 23 elections,” read the report.
Several reports of abuse were brought to the fore last year with Zanu PF supporters fingered.
In August last year, a Citizen Coalition for Change (CCC) Tinashe Chitsunge was stoned to death while campaigning for the opposition.
This raised widespread criticism of the government from the opposition and civic society organisations calling for the arrest of perpetrators.
In the aftermath of the 2023 disputed general elections, opposition members accused the government of carrying out systematic abductions.
HRW in its report further castigated the government for thwarting dissenting voices through arrest and detention of activists.
“Authorities in Zimbabwe continued weaponising the law against critics of the government, denying those arrested the presumption of innocence, the right to bail, and access to a fair trial.
“On May 17, six University of Zimbabwe students were arrested for staging a peaceful protest in Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital. The protesters were demanding an end to the persecution of opposition politicians, including the release of opposition politician Job Sikhala. The students were charged with “criminal nuisance and disorderly conduct.” They were released on bail after two months in detention,” read the report.