National Peace Trust (NPT) Chairperson and founding member of the MDC, Mrs Sekai Holland has implored the diplomatic community to help Zimbabweans find each other, instead of dividing the nation through statements based on unverified information.
The European Union (EU) and other western nations have recently accused the government of not respecting human rights, amid reports of alleged abductions of human rights activists and opposition members.
But the former Co-Minister of State for National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration, Mrs Holland dismissed the claims, arguing that ‘some of the statements border on falsehoods, misinformation and outright malice.’
“It is our hope that the role of the diplomatic community at this stage is to help all Zimbabweans find their space and role in contributing towards the peacebuilding initiative through constructive and impartial interventions instead of sowing seeds of disharmony,” she said.
“A number of abductions have been reported on social media and the mainstream media. While the NPT has not been able to investigate all the cases, the incidents involving the abduction of two opposition activists in Mufakose has been reported out of context. The same has been with the situation involving the youth leader of a political party at the end of the final discussion programme hosted by the Zimbabwe Council of Churches. These two events have drawn unjustified widespread condemnation. Clearly, organisations involved in communicating these incidents have not bothered to investigate…………… we implore the diplomatic community to refrain from engaging in activities or communicating unverified positions as facts and to recognise the sovereignty of Zimbabwe,” Mrs Holland added.
The ex-Minister also had advice for diplomats on the rule of law subject.
“Rule of law refers to the restriction of the arbitrary exercise of power by subordinating it to well-defined and established laws. It embodies accountability, just laws, open government and accessible and impartial judiciary to adjudicate over disputes. Central to this is the need to be guided by the laws of Zimbabwe and uphold as well as respect the decisions of the courts at all times. Diplomats need to be guided by the above principles when making comments on rule of law,” she said.
The NPT urged Zimbabweans to refrain from violence and embrace dialogue in place of confrontation.