Outspoken opposition National Patriotic Front (NPF) spokesperson Jealousy Mawarire exquisitely said President Emmerson Mnangagwa should be heavily punished by targeted sanctions for killing civilians.
In 2018, Mnangagwa who came to power through a military coup that ousted late former president Robert Mugabe in November 2017, narrowly won a disputed election characterized by massive human rights violations.
Two years on, the soldiers who opened fire on protesters in the aftermath of the July 30 general elections, killing at least six and causing injuries to scores more, have still not been held accountable for their actions.
Demonstrators were calling for the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to expedite the release of the presidential election results.
The under-fire Zanu PF administration since 2018 has grown to be heavily associated with human rights abuses compounded by torture, abuse, abductions, and arrests of political activists, opposition politicians, journalists, and other dissenting voices.
Speaking at a LiveChat with Josey recently, Mawarire said the President is responsible for the deployment of soldiers in streets and he should be answerable to all the atrocities the army caused.
He added that targeted sanctions put on people who abuse power should also be imposed on the Zimbabwean leader Mnangagwa.
“I think if we have Zimbabweans that are misbehaving, that is responsible for abducting citizens in this country, they should be put on targeted sanctions. I make no apologies about that, I don’t care. Those that are killing people in this country, whether they are shooting them at 45° or at 95°, those people should be held responsible. It’s common knowledge that soldiers are deployed to kill people in this country.
“Section 213 of the Constitution is very clear on who has the mandate of deploying soldiers on the streets and that’s the President of the country. When we see soldiers being deployed on the streets of the country and those soldiers go on a wanton exercise of killing civilians, even killing women that are fleeing from them then someone wants to believe that the President does not know anything about that.
“We become really worried about the kind of a country that we are living in because the President under section 213 of the Constitution is the one who is responsible for deploying soldiers,” Mawarire said.
He added that “If ever there is any sanction that should be put upon the President for doing that then he should be answerable because to whom much is given, much should be expected and the consequences for killing civilians should be very dire and there should be actually prohibitive measures that should be enforced in order for people not to abuse power.
“The fact that they have access to the country’s arsenal doesn’t give them a right to shorten people’s life on earth.”
Referring to political opponents, Mnangagwa recently threatened to “flush out bad apples.”
Soon after the sensational threat, his regime went on to arrest Investigative Journalist Hopewell Chin’ono who recently exposed alleged government corruption involving his son Collins and wife Auxilia in massive allegations of corruption, the US $60 million Covidgate scandals.
Opposition Transform Zimbabwe leader Jacob Ngarivhume was also arrested together with MDC Alliance Vice Chairman Job Sikhala on charges of inciting public violence in connection with 31st July protests against corruption in Mnangagwa’s government.
The international community has since condemned human rights violations orchestrated by his administration and it slowed his re-engagement agenda.