PDM condemns violence in Zimbabwe

Regional pressure is piling on Harare, with Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema calling for the closure of the Zimbabwean embassy in South Africa.

05 August 2020 | International

JEMIMA BEUKES

WINDHOEK



Namibia's official opposition, the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM), has called on the African Union to intervene in the political stalemate in Zimbabwe.

PDM leader McHenry Venaani also demanded that the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) remove Zimbabwean president Emmerson Mnangagwa as chair of the Troika of Peace, Defence and Security.

Both SADC and the AU have remained quiet in the face of escalating political violence in Zimbabwe.

Venaani's call comes amidst increasing human rights violations and arbitrary arrests of anti-corruption protesters including award-winning investigate reporter Hopewell Rugoho-Chin'ono and women's rights defender and renowned writer, Tsitsi Dangarembga.

“We condemn the abhorrent acts of brutality meted against journalists and political opponents and the attempt to seize a political movement in the name of MDC Alliance. We recognise Nelson Chamisa as the legitimate opposition leader in that country,” said Venaani.

On Monday morning, South African politician and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema called for the closure of the Zimbabwean embassy in South Africa until human rights are restored in Zimbabwe.

“Failure to do so, we will prevent any official from the Zimbabwean government from participating in any gathering in SA until they respect ordinary Zimbabweans,” Malema tweeted.



Open letter

Meanwhile, a group of African journalists have written an open letter to the AU and SADC demanding that it suspend Zimbabwe as member, and also questioned the two bodies' silence on what is happening in Zimbabwe.

The group of journalists confronted the AU for being quick to support the #BlackLivesMatter movement in the wake of George Floyd's murder and other human rights abuses in the United States, but strangely remaining quiet about the violation of black lives in Africa.

“We fear that as long as Zimbabwe continues to violate its citizens' rights with impunity, we and fellow writers and journalists are in danger of having our rights violated in the different AU member states, while the mother body stays silent. An injury to a Zimbabwean journalist for doing their job by the Zimbabwean state thus becomes a potential injury to us all by any rogue African government,” the letter reads.

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