AMH is an independent media house free from political ties or outside influence. We have four newspapers: The Zimbabwe Independent, a business weekly published every Friday, The Standard, a weekly published every Sunday, and Southern and NewsDay, our daily newspapers. Each has an online edition.

  • Marketing
  • Digital Marketing Manager: tmutambara@alphamedia.co.zw
  • Tel: (04) 771722/3
  • Online Advertising
  • Digital@alphamedia.co.zw
  • Web Development
  • jmanyenyere@alphamedia.co.zw

Zim heading to UNGA summit with dirty hands

President Emmerson Mnangagwa

FROM June 23 to 24 this year, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) held a plenary meeting on the responsibility to protect (R2P) and the prevention of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity as part of its 76th session formal agenda.

Delivering her introductory remarks, the UN Secretary-General’s special adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Alice Nderitu, said: “member States, the UN Secretariat and the General Assembly have made progress in further elaborating and operationalising the R2P and have, among others, elaborated frameworks for identifying risks, early warning models and institutional mechanisms for implementation.”

The meeting also heard that “R2P remains the key principle around which the international community can coalesce when vulnerable populations face the threat of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. Incitement to violence, discrimination or hostility and hate speech and propaganda campaigns that target specific groups can create an environment that encourages the commission of atrocity crimes.”

Given this background and as the world heads towards the UNGA’s 77th session beginning on September 13, 2022 it is important that Zimbabwe, as UN member State, must go to the august global meeting with clean hands or at least be seen to be subscribing to the R2P agenda.

Unfortunately, as things stand, Zimbabwe will have a hard time to convince the world that it subscribes to R2P principles given what is transpiring in our midst.

It would be the worst embarrassment for President Emmerson Mnangagwa to stand in front of the august UNGA and claim that he and his ruling Zanu PF party, running the affairs of Zimbabwe, subscribe to R2P and are not guilty of “incitement to violence, discrimination or hostility and hate speech and propaganda campaigns that target specific groups” creating an “environment that encourages the commission of atrocity crimes”.

As we write, political parties wishing to challenge Zanu PF’s 42-year rule of Zimbabwe are being persecuted left, right and centre by people allegedly aligned to the ruling party.

As campaigns heat up ahead of the 2023 general elections, individuals and groups affiliated to Zanu PF are on record propagating hate speech and are engaged in rabid propaganda campaigns targeting those in the opposition and dissenting voices.

And for Mnangagwa, who depicts himself as “a listening President” and “soft as wool” it would come as dumbfounding if he proudly tells the world at the UNGA77th summit that he and his government subscribes to R2P when those, who are in broad daylight, churning out hate speech, are not being taken to task.

As recent as a week ago, one Zanu PF-linked church leader told the world, in the presence of Mnangagwa, that white people were satanists; weeks before that another Zanu PF zealot demanded that opposition Citizens Coalition for Change leader Nelson Chamisa and his family be killed; rural people are being threatened with violence if they do not vote for Zanu PF in next year’s elections and the violence preceding the Gokwe-Kabuyuni weekend by-elections attest to this; and a raft of Bills — such as the Private Voluntary Organisations Bill and others mulled to block opposition parties from contesting in elections are just a few examples of proof that Zimbabwe does not subscribe to R2P principles.

We do not begrudge Zimbabwe’s attendance of the UNGA summit, all we are saying is it is going there with very dirty hands.

Related Topics