The United States government through, the US Embassy Harare have released another press statement expressing their concern over the continued deterioration of human rights in Zimbabwe. This follows the arrest of Pastor Evan Mawarire and Pastor Patrick Mugadza by the government of Zimbabwe. In the statement, the US government calls for Zimbabwe to respect the rule of law. The Embassy recently released a statement calling for the immediate release of Pastor Evan Mawarire.
The Statement reads
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The United States is extremely concerned by the continuing deterioration of the human rights situation in Zimbabwe, as evidenced by the unwarranted arrest and continued detention of Pastor Evan Mawarire and the incarceration of Pastor Phillip Patrick Mugadza.
The U.S. Government unequivocally believes in the basic right to freedom of speech and calls on the Government of Zimbabwe to respect the human rights of all Zimbabwean citizens which are enshrined in the constitution. We believe that the basic right of Zimbabweans to freedom of speech – be it in public, through print media, or social media – should be protected within and outside Zimbabwe’s borders.
We fear these recent actions will further limit the right of Zimbabweans to exercise their Constitutionally-protected freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly, which are similarly protected under Zimbabwe’s international human rights obligations, and are core values of any functioning democracy. The U.S. Government also calls on the Government of Zimbabwe to respect the rule of law and legal due process provided by the Constitution.
Presidential spokesperson George Charamba retorted that the US can go hang on a banana tree. Speaking to the Herald, Charamba said
We are waiting for a cue from a new government,
Whoever that person is, is a left over from a terrible era. Is it because this person (Mawarire) is their agent?
He (US ambassador) thinks he can boss over us? They can go and hang on a banana tree.