By Anna Chibamu
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has struck the right tone as regards what needs to be done in order to return Zimbabwe to the international fold but there is little in terms of action to back this especially around the issue of human rights, outspoken Independent Norton MP Temba Mliswa said on Monday.
Mliswa was speaking on New Zimbabwe.com’s current affairs programme The Agenda.
A former Zanu PF Mashonaland West provincial chairperson before his sacking in 2014, Mliswa said government has continued to disregard both the courts and Parliament on the issue of the Marange diamond fields for example.
“The leaders and the public have to know that re-engagement is all about business and not politics. Rule of law lacks in Zimbabwe. Government’s policies have never been consistent as seen in recent black on black land invasions, in mines, illegal settlers throughout the country,” the tough talking Mliswa said.
He added: “It is so disturbing and all these have to be regularised. The Parliamentary Committee on Mines and Mining Development recommended that (the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company) ZCDC must stop its operations and the Supreme Court has ruled that the company is illegal as well.
“The government’s move to take over the diamond claims has also been ruled to be illegal. All this has been ignored. Investment is not safe in Zimbabwe. There is need to respect each other’s human rights.”
After years of isolationist polices under former President Robert Mugabe, Mnangagwa has since taking charge in November 2017, embarked on a charm offensive to try and woo investment on the promise of respect for property rights and the rule of law.
The Zanu PF leader’s re-engagement efforts however have yielded little reward although it has resulted in thawing of hitherto frosty relations especially with the European Union.
Mliswa however, defended Mnangagwa’s decision to deploy the military to quell violent protests in August last year and January this year which resulted in the deaths of over 20 people. The legislator argued protestors should desist from looting adding the issue around the deployment of the army while constitutional needs to be guarded including the use of live ammunition.
“The role of the security sector is very important and needs to be recognised. It is constitutional and people should be educated on this.
“The sticking issue is when should live ammunition be used? This is debatable but we cannot as a country allow anarchy to prevail. The law must take its course,” Mliswa told New Zimbabwe.com.