Amnesty International has expressed concern over the utterances made by President Emmerson Mnangagwa during a ZANU PF rally in Mwenezi on Saturday.
Mnangagwa warned that the government was going after lawyers and doctors who were assisting people injured and/or arrested during ShutDownZim protests in January.
Amnesty International Deputy Regional Director for Southern Africa Muleya Mwananyanda said:
In response to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s statement that the government will deal with those suspected to be behind the national ‘stay-away’ protests, including non-governmental organizations, trade union leaders, opposition leaders, doctors and lawyers.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s unfortunate comments are deeply troubling and unwarranted. Coming off the heels of Amnesty International’s expose of systematic targeting of dissent during the national ‘stay-away’ period, they affirm that his government used security forces, including military personnel, to brutalise people who were protesting. This latest threat is a sinister hint that the situation could become even worse.
If his government wants to build an inclusive country that is based on respect for human rights, President Mnangagwa should accommodate differing views, whether they please his government or not.