WINDHOEK - Zimbabweans living in Namibia last Friday held a peaceful demonstration during which they strongly condemned the brutal police crackdown on innocent protesters in Zimbabwe that led to the killing of 12 people protesting against exorbitant fuel prices. The U.N. human rights office has also called on Zimbabwean security forces to stop their violent crackdown on people protesting the government’s economic austerity measures at a time when commodity prices continue their upward spiral, making the price of fuel in Zimbabwe the highest in the world. U.N. rights officials say Zimbabwe is in a socio-economic crisis, a situation that will not be resolved by violently repressing large-scale protests.
“We hereby petition the Zimbabwean Embassy in Namibia to convey our message to President Emerson Mnangagwa,” Luka Hari, a Zimbabwean citizen living in Namibia, read the petition.
But he and other Zimbabweans living in Namibia on Friday were left very disappointed when their ambassador in Windhoek declined to receive their petition in person.
This was after they held the peaceful demonstration in solidarity with their country folk. Chanting songs in their native languages and carrying banners that demanded “the resignation of their President and Vice president” they said the government has failed their people.
The protestors were also gravely concerned
about the Government of Zimbabwe’s obstruction of freedom, the brutality meted out on their people and were further worried about the deepening economic crisis, despite their president ushering in a “new dispensation”.
The signed petition demanded that President Mnangagwa and Vice-President Chiwenga stop the brutal killing and grievous assault of unarmed innocent Zimbabwean citizens including women and children.
“The president should demonetize the Bond note and do away with the fictitious rate of 1:1 against the US dollar. The monetary challenges should be addressed by joining the Rand Monitory Union. Which the demonstrators feel will quickly correct the current liquidity problem and other economic woes,” they stated.
They demanded that Mnangagwa have a negotiating dialogue with opposition parties, civil society and religious organisations to resolve the legitimacy crisis of the July 30, 2018 elections. They feel the crisis continues to hamper international engagement and any international efforts to rebuild that country’s economy that is in tatters.
They further condemned the army’s use of live ammunition on unarmed, lawfully protesting civilians dissatisfied with the rampant sharp increase of commodity prices, which was triggered by the 250 percent fuel increase announced by Mnangagwa. The switching off of the internet and social media platforms has made communicating back home difficult, they said. This has left the protestors worried about the well-being of their friends and family.
They furthermore called upon the leaders of SADC, UN, AU and EU to intervene and save the people of Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile, Mnangagwa will soon be assuming the position of the Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation it has been revealed.
A SADC communiqué issued after the Double Troika Summit (Summit) of the Heads of State and Government of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) held in Addis Ababa, in the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia on Thursday cited Zimbabwe as the Incoming Chairperson.