from MARCUS MUSHONGA in Harare, Zimbabwe
HARARE – SOUTH Africa has been urged to drop its so-called quiet diplomacy on Zimbabwe and press the neighbouring country to end repression.
The call by a human rights organization came as the two countries’ governing parties, African National Congress (ANC) and the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) – met in the latter’s capital in Harare.
There has been confusion on the agenda of the meeting.
It is believed the delegation from South Africa has been dispatched to Zimbabwe to try to find a solution to the country’s escalating economic and political crises.
Zimbabwe however has insisted the meeting is a solidarity event to mobilise against enmity the two parties and countries were facing from so-called imperial forces.
Human Rights Watch (HRW), however said the South African party’s delegation, led by Secretary-General, Ace Magashule, must call on their Zimbabwean colleagues to urgently address their country’s deteriorating human rights situation.
According to human rights groups, while the Zimbabwe government insists there is no crisis, under President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s presidency, the abduction and torture of critics of the government has escalated.
Unidentified assailants, suspected to be state security agents from the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), have reportedly abducted and tortured more than 70 government critics.
A further 60 were arrested during the police crackdown on anti-corruption protests intended on July 31.
“South Africa’s message to Zimbabwe’s government should be clear: this crisis cannot be resolved by repressing the people of Zimbabwe,” Dewa Mavhinga, HRW Director for Southern Africa, said.
South Africa has in the past come under criticism for its so-called quiet diplomacy while Zimbabwe’s crises worsen.
– CAJ News