‘UN General Assembly must urge Mnangagwa to demilitarize govt’

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By Staff Reporter

CRISIS In Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) has said the United Nations General Assembly should urge President Emmerson Mnangagwa to demilitarise government and respect constitutionalism before clamouring for re-engagement.

In a statement Monday, CiCZ said legitimacy, constitutionalism and demilitarisation of government are the key issues which the global community must place emphasis on at their meeting in New York.

“The first step is for the international community to insist upon the demilitarisation of the Zimbabwe polity and a return to constitutionalism as a panacea to the multi-faceted crises that is emerging on medieval diseases, failing national economy, collapse of social service nets, institutionalized corruption and weakening of the institutions,” the group said.

The civic society umbrella organ said Mnangagwa’s attendance of the UN meeting comes against a background of a disputed election in Zimbabwe which has seen his legitimacy being questioned.

“… ahead of the UN meeting, CiCZ would like to reiterate that Zimbabwe, as was the situation during the Robert Mugabe era, has largely failed the litmus test as far as creating an equitable and peaceful society is concerned.

“… despite claims of a new era, the government has failed to uphold constitutionalism as well as respect for tenets of credible elections and thus peace and equity remain a far-fetched dream in Zimbabwe.”

CiCZ highlighted that after the November 2017 military coup, there was increased militarisation of state institutions as the new government led by Mnangagwa sought to entrench its hold on power.

“The military’s heavy-handed approach was seen post-July 30 when the army shot dead seven unarmed and fleeing citizens after protests broke out in Harare.

“As CiCZ, we have already expressed serious reservations over the composition of the Commission of Inquiry set up President Mnangagwa to investigate the killings of civilians by the army.”