US says worried by Zim abductions, urges political dialogue

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By Anna Chibamu

The United States government says it is deeply concerned over the abduction, assault, and torture of civil society and opposition activists at a time the country’s main opposition has planned a massive anti-government protest in Harare this Friday.

In a statement Thursday, the US government said the Zimbabwean government has a responsibility to ensure the safety of its citizens under its constitution.

“We welcome the Zimbabwean government’s commitment to investigate these crimes and to bring those responsible to justice. We encourage those Zimbabweans who wish to seek redress before their government to do so peacefully,” read part of the statement.

The Donald Trump administration also called for an urgent inclusive national dialogue to end the political and economic impasse emanating from a disputed 2018 election.

“The ongoing polarization in Zimbabwean society, as identified by the (former South African President Kgalema) Motlanthe Commission and the Zimbabwe Council of Churches, underscores the urgent need for a broad-based and inclusive national dialogue.

“Such a dialogue, coupled with political and economic reforms, holds the promise of a more prosperous and successful Zimbabwe,” the US added.

Cases of abductions and arrests on MDC youth leaders and other political activists resurfaced in the past week while some activists were being held at Harare Central Police station with some admitted in hospitals after being targeted by unknown assailants.

Political activist Pride Mkono and MDC youth leader Cecilia Chimbiri were on Thursday summoned by police in connection with the MDC’s planned demonstration.