FORMER British Cabinet Minister and leading anti-apartheid campaigner Peter Hain has demanded the extending of sanctions against key Zimbabwe ministers and security chiefs over what he labelled ‘escalating human rights violations in Zimbabwe.’
Speaking in the British parliament, Lord Hain said: ‘In Zimbabwe, three women have recently been abducted and tortured: opposition MP and former Canon Collins Scholar Joana Mamombe, together with Netsai Marowa and Cecilia Chepiri. On July 20 highly respected journalist Hopewell Chin’ono was arrested and denied bail for supporting an anti-corruption protest and faces 10 years in jail.
‘Opposition leader Jacob Ngarivhume was arrested and youth leader Takunda Madzana abducted and tortured by state security agents on July 26. As well as rampant corruption, there is a pattern of ongoing human rights violations under cover of the Covid-19 crackdown. Can the government update its sanctions to cover more Zimbabwe Ministers and security chiefs?’
SADC regional governments have been on a campaign to have the remaining sanctions on Zimbabwe lifted in order to make it easier for the country to apply for additional funding from international financial institutions. But with the escalating levels of repression in the country Hain wants the UK to send a message that political violence by the Zimbabwe government against its own people will not be tolerated.
On Monday night MDC Alliance Youth Assembly National Executive Member from Bulawayo Takunda Madzana was taken from his home and brutally tortured by suspected state agents. Assailants gruesomely fractured his body parts before dumping him in a bush.
Three Harare South MDC Alliance members Emmanuel Mukwemu, Petronella Mapaire and Trynos Hove were also abducted by suspected state agents from their homes only to be dumped at the Harare Central Police station on Tuesday morning.
The levels of repression against members of the opposition and journalists have been escalating ahead of the planned anti-government protests scheduled for July 31.