The Zimbabwe Europe Network (ZEN) strongly condemns the disproportionate force Zimbabwe’s security forces have used against its own citizens in the past week, and is shocked by the seemingly random acts of violence.
Zimbabwean human rights organisations recorded over 800 human rights violations so far, which included at least 12 killings, at least 78 injuries from gunshots, and hundreds of arbitrary arrests.
ZEN further notes with concern the continued and ongoing harassment of civil society, which led to the arrests of activists and forced many others to go into hiding. Several reports indicate that family members of civil society activists have been harassed by security agents in the past days.
ZEN therefore calls for an immediate end of the violence against the citizens of Zimbabwe, and for an immediate end to the deployment of the military. In times of deep economic distress, there is a need for the government to ensure stability and the respect of basic rights for Zimbabwean citizens.
ZEN further calls upon the authorities to stop the crackdown on Zimbabwean civil society and their families. ZEN sends Zimbabwean civil society a message of solidarity and encourages them to stay firm.
ZEN believes the wider international community should strongly condemn the current crackdown on Zimbabwe’s citizens and civil society.
Lastly, ZEN supports calls by our civil society partners for the need for an inclusive national dialogue in Zimbabwe to address the current political and economic crisis. Therefore, ZEN welcomes the remarks made by President Mnangagwa earlier today in which he calls for such a dialogue. ZEN believes that such a dialogue can only be meaningful though, if the trumped up charges against the activists that are currently detained are dropped and the dialogue is underpinned by accountability.