Global human rights watchdog, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has called on the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) to explain the alleged arrests and detention of cabinet ministers and Mugabe loyalists. This comes after reports that the military arrested a number of cabinet ministers during “Operation Restore Legacy” accusing them of being criminals. Ministers who were reported to have been arrested include, Professor Jonathan Moyo, Ignatius Chombo and Savior Kasukuwere.
Human Rights Watch said that the military needed to reveal the identities of the people who had been arrested and where they were being held. HRW also said that the military should make sure that all detainees’ rights were not violated and that they should have access to lawyers and family members.
Human Rights Watch director for Southern Africa, Dhewa Mavhinga said:
The military should clear the air about any arrests across Zimbabwe and hand over any criminal suspects to the appropriate civilian authorities according to law.
Failing to disclose the whereabouts of those detained is an enforced disappearance that places detainees at greater risk of abuse.
The end of Mugabe’s 37 years of abusive rule should not be marked by continued rights violations. Respect for the rule of law and due process for anyone in detention would signal a clean break with the past.
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